Pharyngula

Sarah Palin: Ignorant and anti-science

This is too much. Sarah Palin gave a policy speech today in which she claimed that she wanted more support for children with disabilities, more tools to test for disorders, and while also decrying the expense of scientific research.

Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.

I am appalled.

This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.

Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage (something else the wackaloon from Wasilla denies), and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system — precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.

This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research. In this next election, we’ve got to choose between the 21st century rationalism and Dark Age inanity. It ought to be an easy choice.

Comments

  1. #1 ggab
    October 24, 2008

    Is anyone really surprised?
    Pretty much par for the course.

  2. #2 The Ghost of Thomas Hunt Morgan
    October 24, 2008
  3. #3 Bachalon
    October 24, 2008

    This sort of thing is no longer shocking to me.

  4. #4 Brad D
    October 24, 2008

    Listening to her makes MY BRAIN HURT!

  5. #5 E.V.
    October 24, 2008

    This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research.

    Umm, I think you’re also describing Dubya.

  6. #6 benson bear
    October 24, 2008

    What exactly was the research Palin was complaining about? You suggest it was research in molecular genetics using fruit fly models? But wasn’t it actually about how to deal with fruit flies as pests to crops?

  7. #7 Bob Vogel
    October 24, 2008

    But, but, if humans are related to fruit flies, then why shouldn’t we respect them somehow as our relatives – and stop cutting them up to find out things about ourselves?

    Seriously, this is a question asked by PETA, and other organizations far above my head. In short, wow, this is a whole lot above all of our heads, if anyone chooses to really think about this. I mean, everything all of us who watch and read this site believe in – if we’re all related -each one of us, then none is more important than the other?

    Well, perhaps therein lies the problem.

    Yeah, I know this is stupid. But is it? Damn, I need to stop thinking so much.

  8. #8 rickflick
    October 24, 2008

    Unfortunately, I have in-laws who believe this kind of Palen crap. The word ‘Harvard’ makes them scream ‘socialist!’
    This is an easy choice, but only for those of us who have left the dark ages behind.

  9. #9 S.Scott
    October 24, 2008

    She also doesn’t think that people that bomb abortion clinics are terrorists either.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK7ZkNCN4hc

    I can’t stand that woman.

  10. #10 alex
    October 24, 2008

    *after throwing up slightly*

    what an evil person. i think perhaps a large portion of her evil is unintentional, and stems from her appalling ignorance.

  11. #11 Randy
    October 24, 2008

    Benson, Does it matter?

    one leads to medical and other breakthroughs, the other leads to economic development by helping an important industry (agriculture) avoid collapse.

  12. #12 Jimmy Groove
    October 24, 2008

    If it was studies in dealing with fruit fly crop predation, isn’t that also valuable? Heck, I would expect the average person to have an easier time seeing the value in that than in genetic studies.

  13. #13 Luger Otter Robinson
    October 24, 2008

    Well, of course she thinks that humans were created in God’s image on the 22nd October 4004 BCE, so obviously doing research on fruit flies is not going to be of any practical use at all. She probably thinks that the research should have been done in Paris, Texas instead of Paris, France too.

  14. #14 Lumifish
    October 24, 2008

    Did she seriously just say that research on Drosophila has ‘little or nothing to do with the public good’? As in, THE Drosophila melanogaster, the prime model organism for a vast chunk of genetics, responsible for elucidating some of the basic mechanisms of inheritance?

    I don’t know how you put up with living in that country, PZ..

  15. #15 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    I love my country, but this woman is so thunder struck with the stoopid, that it’s embarrassing to be an American. Other people can see this. Citizens of Norway and Holland have probably had to resort to wearing diapers during the world news reports, and wrapping their rib cages due to laughing so hard.
    Idiot America – it’s here. I don’t know if I can last another 11 days. My poor old colander is beat all to hell from the *headdesk*ing.

  16. #16 Bob Vogel
    October 24, 2008

    The real problem here, PZ, is that there is not a single person in he U.S., including myself, (and I believe in what you are doing and saying here, hands down :) would ever understand what the term “mutagenize” means. Or even care.

  17. #17 notthedroids
    October 24, 2008

    Well, the good thing is that it appears that Rational America will be defeating Batshit Stupid America this time around.

    Also, there was a bit of a Palin bump right after the convention, but it seems to have quickly transformed into Palin Fatigue.

  18. #18 ERV
    October 24, 2008

    Oh no! You all misunderstand! Fruit flies in research is fine! They were specially created by the lord Jesus Christ to help good Christian scientists cure autism (which was caused by The Fall).

    The PROBLEM is that US scientists were collaborating with FRENCH people. PARIS FRANCE people!

    Quality scientific research doesnt come from PARIS FRANCE!!

  19. #19 Luger Otter Robinson
    October 24, 2008

    No, I am corrected about the purpose of the grant. It was for olive fruit fly research, some of which went to Paris.

  20. #20 Escuerd
    October 24, 2008

    This hurts.

    This woman is possibly the most worthless, disgusting turd that the Republican Party has ever shat into the limelight (at least this far into it).

  21. #21 Jacksonville Web Design
    October 24, 2008

    Obama touts himself as a Christian also. Is he also back woods? Unfortunately, it appears he is choosing to tell you what he thinks you want to hear, what he thinks is needed in order to get elected… instead of really standing up for what he (supposedly) believes in. I don’t think he attends church for 20 years and really believes abortion is the right thing to support. You would be better off if Obama actually walked the walk. If he is elected, the Obama supporters I think will be disappointed in the long run as he relies on polls to guide him, instead of actually leading by principles.

    Jim S.
    Jacksonville, FL
    http://tentonweb.com/

  22. #22 Monado in Toronto
    October 24, 2008

    Voltaire said, “I never made but one prayer to God, and that was to make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.”

    At her age and in her country, if she is that ignorant of the real world, it’s only because she isn’t interested in knowing better.

  23. #23 Kraid
    October 24, 2008

    Basic scientific research in model organisms is a waste of money? GRAAAAAAWWWWWRRRR!! HULK SMASH!

    Without basic research in models like the fruit fly, our understanding of biology would be light years behind where it is now. How can she be so ignorant as to call such branches of science “irrelevant?” If the breakthroughs in clinically “relevant” science are a tower of human achievement, then basic research is the foundation on which that tower is built. Clinically “relevant” research doesn’t magically appear out of a void….

    And did anybody let her in on the fact that fruit flies are MUCH cheaper to study than more “relevant” species like mice and primates? They’re also infinitely more tractable, but I’m guessing that concept is too far beyond her.

  24. #24 BobC
    October 24, 2008

    This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research.

    Palin is an uneducated god-soaked wacko, but there is no evidence she ever did any speaking in tongues. Some members of a church she belonged to spoke in tongues, which is the most idiotic thing I can imagine, but as far as I know Palin isn’t that crazy.

    I agree that Palin is a wackaloon, and tomorrow I’m mailing in my Florida ballot for Obama.

  25. #25 John
    October 24, 2008

    @Jacksonville Web Design

    He is just the lesser of two evils.

  26. #26 Tyler DiPietro
    October 24, 2008

    #21,

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that’s not copypasta, this isn’t about Christianity. It’s about Palin being an anti-science fucktard.

  27. #27 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    October 24, 2008

    The word ‘Harvard’ makes them scream ‘socialist!’

    Uhhh…isn’t Harvard pretty much the *opposite* of a socialist enclave? Seems like the local community college would be more “socialist” in the sense having fewer prerequisites to attend and costing far less money.

  28. #28 Tyler DiPietro
    October 24, 2008

    “Uhhh…isn’t Harvard pretty much the *opposite* of a socialist enclave? Seems like the local community college would be more “socialist” in the sense having fewer prerequisites to attend and costing far less money.”

    It doesn’t have to be logical, wingnuts often use “socialist” to mean “Jew”.

  29. #29 Cuttlefish, OM
    October 24, 2008

    One wonders: will Palin prevail in detailin’
    The follies of funding the fruit-flies in France?
    Or will this disclosure expose her composure
    Is stunningly stupid–a stultified stance?

  30. #30 marc buhler (PhD,damn it!)
    October 24, 2008

    The key thing to understand here is that Dr. Palin (I presume she will be getting one from some fundy degree-mill as an honorary award) is fulfilling one of the key roles in Big Science Itself here – as befits her, she is obviously “The Negative Control”.

    An the overall McCain/Palin effort is, of course “The Negative of Control”.

  31. #31 SC
    October 24, 2008

    Sarah, Pain and Gall

  32. #32 Azkyroth
    October 24, 2008

    I don’t think he attends church for 20 years and really believes abortion is the right thing to support.

    How is that?

  33. #33 Patricia
    October 24, 2008

    During the next Poseidon rally/mermaid orgy, I intend to offer some smoked clams in thanks for the Cuttlefish.

  34. #34 Ericka
    October 24, 2008

    Thomas Hunt Morgan was the shit.

  35. #35 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 24, 2008

    On tonight’s Countdown, one of the stories was about this speech. Richard Wolffe was on to talk about it. “Keith, I am going to be as restrained and measured as I possibly can about this. But this is the most mindless, ignorant, uninformed comment that we have seen from Governor Palin so far. And there has been a lot of competition for that phrase.”

    This is nothing that PZ has already said. But this is a non scientist saying it. If you would like to see the whole interview, go the the five minute point of the first segment.

  36. #36 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    October 24, 2008

    wingnuts often use “socialist” to mean “Jew”.

    *facepaws* I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around the conflicting stereotypes there.

  37. #37 Eamon Knight
    October 24, 2008

    Haven’t watched the video (Do I have to? I really have more enjoyable ways to murder a few neurons), but I’ll assume there’s a personal angle about her youngest kid to this.

    So, you stupid shit-for-brains bitch: do you really have no idea that figuring out trisomy-21, and exactly why it has all those effects, and what we might — just might — one day be able to do about that in the way of therapy, probably involved a whole lot of basic research on genetics, and regulation, and development, and a lot of that research was basic, undirected, just figuring-it-out stuff, with no idea whether it would ever lead to something useful — and a whole lot of that was probably done on FUCKING FRUIT FLIES!!!!

    Argh, I despair for my species.

  38. #38 Jordan Fett
    October 24, 2008

    In an ideal world, Palin would have an “It’s a Wonderful Life” tour with P.Z. Meyers as her guardian angel, showing her how horrible life would be without scientific advances. He would take her on a wondrous tour of a land filled with diseases we’ve immunized against, a hospital that serves more as hospice than a curative institution, a starving population without the benefit of the Green Revolution, all the way down to trivial things such as textiles. Without industrial chemistry, her thousand-dollar clothes wouldn’t be possible.

    She would wake up from this terrible dream, and perhaps drop out of the race.

    *sigh* if only..
    http://jdfettblog.blogspot.com/

  39. #39 Aaron
    October 24, 2008

    I think that an interesting note here is that I believe that the “pet” project she may be referring to was about 200k “earmarked” for Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) for olive fruit fly research.

    Olive fruit flies are an invasive species in California, so it would actually make sense to do research in Europe, the natural habitat of the fly, to help understand how to work to reduce the damage caused by the fly in California. So does this really mean that Sarah hates California?

  40. #40 SC
    October 24, 2008

    That’s it. If one more fucking comment thread includes the words “stupid/dumb…cunt/bitch,” I’m going to stop reading anything having to do with women here. What the fuck? Knock it the fuck off.

  41. #41 Zaius
    October 24, 2008

    Palin doesn’t want the government spending $200,000 to research the control of olive fruit flies, but she offered $150 for each dead wolf.

  42. #42 Aaron
    October 24, 2008

    I think that an interesting note here is that I believe that the “pet” project she may be referring to was about 200k “earmarked” for Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) for olive fruit fly research.

    Olive fruit flies are an invasive species in California, so it would actually make sense to do research in Europe, the natural habitat of the fly, to help understand how to work to reduce the damage caused by the fly in California. So does this really mean that Sarah hates California?

  43. #43 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    October 24, 2008

    So does this really mean that Sarah hates California?

    I’m sure she does, except for Proposition 8.

  44. #44 Cathy Miller
    October 24, 2008

    This has to be the best. You have managed to say everything I have been thinking. I do not claim to belong to Menza, but she is not even smart enough to be embarrassed. Thank you for this Mr.P.Z. Myers!

  45. #45 Azkyroth
    October 24, 2008

    That’s it. If one more fucking comment thread includes the words “stupid/dumb…cunt/bitch,” I’m going to stop reading anything having to do with women here. What the fuck? Knock it the fuck off.

    Fine, we’ll start calling her a prick, a dick, a son-of-a-bitch, and a motherfucker. Better?

  46. #46 Lago
    October 24, 2008

    You think that is crazy? I knew this weird wacko leftist elitist named “Fleming,” (probably French too) that used to waste much of his time looking at bread mold! What a kook, huh?

  47. #47 Pierce R. Butler
    October 24, 2008

    Fruit flies. IOW, gay flies – queer faggosexual flies!

    And in France of all ungodly places.

    Yet so-called scientists defend this perverted use of Americans’! Taxpayer!! Dollars!!!

    Won’t somebody please think of the children?

  48. #48 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    October 24, 2008

    Is it any wonder that so many scientists are endorsing Obama? Between Palin on French Fruit Flies and McCain on Bear DNA (CSI or Paternity?) and projectors, this Republican ticket is clearly an anti-science pair.

    Eamon, we aren’t all that bad; it’s just a political strategy from a party whose wheels are falling off.

  49. #49 Nerd of Redhead
    October 24, 2008

    The stooopid, it hurts. This lady is just nuts. Time to send her back to Alaska.

  50. #50 Anon
    October 24, 2008

    Rachel Maddow *just* pwned Palin… (paraphrase) “let’s get rid of those earmarks to study fruitflies, and put that money toward studying autism. Like for instance, knowing about [mentions particular protein, I am ignorant, sorry], a causal aspect of autism, which we found out by studying… fruit flies.”

    I am beginning to see what people see in this Maddow person…

  51. #51 Thoracantha
    October 24, 2008

    It french fruit flies. Are they studying the genetics of surrender? Now if they were studying a good old real American insect like the American Roach, that would be science I could get behind.

    Yes I know the american cockroach is originally from North Africa, but it does not matter. Consider that their real Americans originally come for Europe.

  52. #52 Anon
    October 24, 2008

    @#45–

    Call her Sarah Palin. Doesn’t get any worse than that.

  53. #53 Sven DiMilo
    October 24, 2008

    I think you’re all being a bit unfair to Ms. Palin. I’m sure she merely meant to imply that public research dollars would be better spent on studies of Caenorhabditis elegans and Danio rerio. PZ, I’m surprised you’d object, particularly to the latter.

  54. #54 SC
    October 24, 2008

    Fine, we’ll start calling her a prick, a dick, a son-of-a-bitch, and a motherfucker. Better?

    Not really. Colorful, gender-neutral insults exist.

  55. #55 george.wiman
    October 24, 2008

    She is Mary Mallon – ‘Typhoid Mary’ – who spread disease everywhere she worked but never acknowledged her own culpability. Palin spreads contagious stupidity, rather than typhoid, but the former is far more dangerous than the latter.

  56. #56 Eric
    October 24, 2008

    PZ, why do you do these things to me? I’ve got to go bash my head against the wall until the stupid is gone.

  57. #57 Ann
    October 24, 2008

    This might sound harsh and barbaric, but I really believe that anti-science folks should be excluded from all the technological advances from science, a.k.a. modern life. They really don’t deserve it.

  58. #58 Dust
    October 24, 2008

    She was for fruit flys to nowhere before she was against them.

  59. #59 OctoberMermaid
    October 24, 2008

    #23

    “GRAAAAAAWWWWWRRRR!! HULK SMASH!”

    Reading this from someone named Kraid was especially funny.

  60. #60 paul fcd
    October 24, 2008

    It’s fun watching the Menza Pz suck-up crew spring into action.

    Not that I would call anyone names or anything.

  61. #61 Zeno
    October 24, 2008

    Poor Sarah hasn’t a clue. She would have voted to condemn Galileo, too.

    On top of everything else, she’s also an apostate and a heretic. At least Catholics have a reason to think so. I’m sure most of them will overlook it so that they can vote for a fellow exponent of the anti-choice position.

  62. #62 RamblinDude
    October 24, 2008

    I almost feel sorry for Palin. She puts her perky, best foot forward and tries her best, but she’s so shallow and dumb it’s just embarrassing to watch.

  63. #63 scott
    October 24, 2008

    This is a general phenomenon. The public does not understand the value of basic research (btw, this value far exceeds the benefits to human health and the economy). I can’t imagine how to fix this problem. The public wants science to fix all of their problems, so they support research directed at those problems. Scientists want money to pursue their research, so they spin their basic research to sound applied (everything COULD have a practical application). Funding agencies know they are funding basic research with only peripheral relevance to health and societal ills, but when there is a breakthrough or advance from basic research (which is often), it looks to the public like the strategy of funding directed research works. I’d love to see a tally of medical advances that derive from directed medical research in industry compared to those derived from basic research in academia.

  64. #64 Patrick L Mercer
    October 24, 2008

    Sarah Palin is not just stupid, she’s proud of her stupidity. She thinks its cool to be stupid.

    “We don’t need no science, we got a buttload of Jesus…”

    Amazing.

  65. #65 386sx
    October 24, 2008

    “Fruit fly research in Paris France. I kid you not!”

    She makes it sound like it’s outrageous or something? Without even being more specific? Like it’s enough to just say “Fruit fly research in Paris France” and people should immediately be outraged? I don’t get it…

  66. #66 Shaden Freud
    October 24, 2008

    Could have been worse, like research at a French planetarium.

  67. #67 Epistaxis
    October 24, 2008

    Bob Vogel, #7:

    But, but, if humans are related to fruit flies, then why shouldn’t we respect them somehow as our relatives – and stop cutting them up to find out things about ourselves?

    I can’t tell if you were serious, but speaking as someone who supports animal welfare, I can answer: no. Nepotism, racism, speciesism, and segmentationism (?) are just different degrees of the same wrong idea. Our obligations toward another being should be determined by its capacity to experience suffering, not its relation to us. That’s why some countries protect cephalopods, which are even more distant from us than flies.

  68. #68 Shadow
    October 24, 2008

    Speaking as someone with a cunt, I thoroughly support referring to cunts as cunts, whether it’s the orifice or a woman who’s proved herself to be no better than an oozing hole that needs to be bitch-slapped and sent back to – well, no. I suppose I wouldn’t want something like that in my kitchen. But there’s probably somewhere we can stick her.

  69. #69 OctoberMermaid
    October 25, 2008

    #60

    “Not that I would call anyone names or anything.”

    Well, I certainly hope not, considering the lack of creativity or thought you put into your comment. You’d bore us to tears.

  70. #70 artemisia
    October 25, 2008

    What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruit fly?

  71. #71 Badger3k
    October 25, 2008

    As seen on Kos: http://localtechwire.com/business/local_tech_wire/biotech/story/1809660/

    “Now scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown that a protein called neurexin is required for these nerve cell connections to form and function correctly.

    The discovery, made in Drosophila fruit flies may lead to advances in understanding autism spectrum disorders, as recently, human neurexins have been identified as a genetic risk factor for autism.”

    OOOOOPS!

  72. #72 Longtime Lurker
    October 25, 2008

    Unfortunately, the majority of ‘Murkins are scientifically illiterate, so they’ll never suss on to the fact that our Dipteran friends have helped us immeasurably. The appeal to Francophobia was just the cherry on top of the stupid sundae.

    Alexis Gambis’ “A Fruit Fly in New York” was featured in the Imagine Science Film Festival. It is short, but it does a great job at showing Drosophila researchers in a fun, sympathetic light and should be required viewing for high school students:

    http://www.vimeo.com/1577547?pg=embed&sec=1577547

    Wow, Cuttlefish… internal rhyme scheme, alliteration… your amp obviously goes OVER eleven. I imagine you’d be able to beat Egil Skallagrimsson in an extemporaneous poetry contest!

  73. #73 raven
    October 25, 2008

    Palin turns out to be a huge net negative for McBush.

    1. She isn’t qualified to be VP. And Cthulhu forbid probably president after the sick old 72 year old man falls down a flight of stairs.

    McCain put his party and this country of 300 million people at serious risk of catastrophe with his stunt. The GOP leadership has been abandoning his campaign in droves, most citing Palin.

    2. This called his judgement into question. The verdict is in, he doesn’t have any.

    Amazingly enough, some of the GOP can put the good of the country ahead of the gutter level politics of ignorance, stupidity, and death wishes. Good for them.

  74. #74 raven
    October 25, 2008

    My poor old colander is beat all to hell from the *headdesk*ing.

    That is OK. Tinfoil works better anyway.

  75. #75 Anders
    October 25, 2008

    “…our understanding of biology would be light years behind where it is now” Well.. Do I really need to spell it out?

    @ 47 You emphazised the wrong word (Simpson ref.?) It should be “please”

    Yes nerd….

  76. #76 Espen
    October 25, 2008

    To #15: I’m from Norway, and I’m not laughing. The concept that something like sarah palin can become a VP of the United States is probably the most depressing and troublesome thing I’ve every encountered. Thinking about them winning this election makes me sick. The prospective journey back to ingnorance that may result from this is something I don’t want to live through, literally. So no, this doesn’t make me laugh, it makes me consider my end.

  77. #77 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    What an ignoramus!

  78. #78 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    October 25, 2008

    Colorful, gender-neutral insults exist.

    I’m sure being called a pig-ignorant dipshit is much better for a woman’s self-esteem than being called a cunt. We wouldn’t want to offend someone we’re insulting.

  79. #79 raven
    October 25, 2008

    This might sound harsh and barbaric, but I really believe that anti-science folks should be excluded from all the technological advances from science, a.k.a. modern life. They really don’t deserve it.

    She’s from Alaska which is about the same thing.

  80. #80 Lightnin
    October 25, 2008

    While every first year bio student should understand the importance of Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism (for instance, shedding light on non-mendellian modes of inheritance like sex-linked diseases), I wouldn’t fault the general public for not realising the significance.

    However, WTF is the deal with politicians not bothering to the most basic of research before opening their mouths? Seriously, how difficult is it to ring or send an email to someone, ANYONE with a science background to ask questions like, “why would an overhead projector cost 3 million?”, “or why are biologists so obsessed with fruit flys?”.

    Next thing they’ll be asking why the government is putting millions into research on mustard seedlings (see Arabidopsis thaliana).

  81. #81 paul fcd
    October 25, 2008

    “idiot… blind,shortsighted ignoramus… pretentious clod…
    ignorant buffoon.
    worthless,disgusting turd
    anti-science fucktard.

    as Pz might say, “Yep, these are my readers”

  82. #82 Your Mighty Overload
    October 25, 2008

    S.Scott at 9

    Actually, by her own definition, she would class both herself and Bush as terrorists, since their goal certainly appears to be to destroy the government from within.

  83. #83 Stephanie
    October 25, 2008

    We should thank her….due to Palin’s ignorance…America is getting smarter. Online dictionaries are getting a serious workout.
    She makes dumb look stupid….(not even sure what that means)
    I despise her. We just finished 8 years of a scientifically bankrupt brain. VOTE!

  84. #84 SC
    October 25, 2008

    I’m sure being called a pig-ignorant dipshit is much better for a woman’s self-esteem than being called a cunt. We wouldn’t want to offend someone we’re insulting.

    You might think about not wanting to offend others of that person’s gender. “Pig-ignorant dipshit” isn’t misogynistic. And I really don’t care what your gender is – women can make stupid misogynistic comments, too.

  85. #85 Azkyroth
    October 25, 2008

    Won’t somebody please think of the children?

    Well, there’s the Catholic clergy…

  86. #86 rich (richmanwisco)
    October 25, 2008

    There’s another, equally dangerous, facet about her speech being missed here. And that’s the assertion that government shouldn’t determine how money is spent for children’s education/care of special needs children. Leave it up to the parents.

    Which has been, for many years, the codespeak for the evangelical right to wedge into the education system and deny science, as well as allow for wackjob alternatives to science based therapies whether or not they are effective. And of course alternative medicine has yet (and probably never will be) shown to be effective. That’s the most disturbing part to me.

  87. #87 Ericka
    October 25, 2008

    Thomas Hunt Morgan was the shit.

  88. #88 Azkyroth
    October 25, 2008

    “GRAAAAAAWWWWWRRRR!! HULK SMASH!”

    Reading this from someone named Kraid was especially funny.

    So who gets to be Ridley?

  89. #89 Anders
    October 25, 2008

    #81: You seem to have a hard time with the (deserved) language.. Christian?

  90. #90 Jams
    October 25, 2008

    “That’s it. If one more fucking comment thread includes the words ‘stupid/dumb…cunt/bitch,’ I’m going to stop reading anything having to do with women here. What the fuck? Knock it the fuck off.” – SC

    I sympathize. I really do. But really – and you know I’m a cunt about these things – the lion’s share of gendered slurs on this site are directed at males. Worse still, they’re generally not so metaphorical. Granted, it isn’t a contest.

    I propose that we apply the Steven Pinker test (actually, it’s my test, but inspired by him). A primer for the uninitiated. The test is this: if a word is used in a sense where it’s literal meaning is relinquished in favour of a generalized pejorative, we shouldn’t enforce its literal meaning onto the intentions of the speaker.

    Maybe someone can articulate this better?

  91. #91 raven
    October 25, 2008

    We should thank her….due to Palin’s ignorance…America is getting smarter. Online dictionaries are getting a serious workout.

    Not really. We have run out of adjectives and synonyms for “stupid”, “ignorant”, and “crazy”.

    People have started substituting slang terms for human anatomy but it isn’t really the same thing. Pointless debates are raging about whether Palin is a “dumb cunt” or a “stupid dickhead”. Neither is very accurate in a literal sense.

  92. #92 Dahan
    October 25, 2008

    Those fruit flies were probably gay too… with their own gay agenda. I can just see them preying on poor salt-of-the-Earth, straight fruit flies from small towns. Disgusting. Makes me SICK!

  93. #93 Shadow
    October 25, 2008

    women can make stupid misogynistic comments, too.

    Yes, yes we can. Apparently, we can do a lot of things now. Hurray for bitches’ rights! So until a man shoves his cock down my throat to shut me up (and considering that I wouldn’t even come near myself if I didn’t have to..), I’m going to say whatever the hell I please. Particularly if gender is part of what’s offendng me.

  94. #94 Azkyroth
    October 25, 2008

    People have started substituting slang terms for human anatomy but it isn’t really the same thing. Pointless debates are raging about whether Palin is a “dumb cunt” or a “stupid dickhead”. Neither is very accurate in a literal sense.

    Having never encountered a vulva capable of speech, nor obtained reliable secondhand reports of the same, I had already concluded all cunts were dumb.

    Penile glanses also seem to be consistently incapable of thought or judgement, though many of their owners would doubtless prefer the synonym “thick.”

  95. #95 Falyne
    October 25, 2008

    Yeah, the problem with using misogynistic slurs isn’t the harm they cause the target, but with the harm they cause everyone else.

    For example, I’ll defend even Ann fucking Coulter against being called a cunt or a bitch, because, frankly, it’s not in my interest for women with public lives to be denigrated simply for being women, for if no other reason than that *I* could be in that position.

    I will call Coulter a moronic mangy shit-filled douchebag of fascist asshole, and any other insults that might come to mind in more creative times, but, yeah….

  96. #96 Draconiz
    October 25, 2008

    Shall we call her Dr.Sarah Hovind?

  97. #97 lucca
    October 25, 2008

    I’ve been saying for the last 2 months that Sarah Palin is an inexperienced, uneducated and corrupt right wing dimwit. Finally, others are seeing Ms. Palin for what she really is: an inexperienced and corrupt ignorant buffoon!

  98. #98 Wedge
    October 25, 2008

    RE #15
    I’m in Australia. Yep I have been laughing my backside off, just a couple of minor issues. 1) Voting should be compulsory like it is here and 2) someone please disable the big red launch button just in case H*LL does freeze over (Mccain wins & has a heart attack from the shock of winning).. I really don’t want to get a suntan from nuke going off.

  99. #99 SC
    October 25, 2008

    the lion’s share of gendered slurs on this site are directed at males

    Bullshit. Evidence for this assertion?

    Maybe someone can articulate this better?

    Well, I certainly hope so, but I somehow doubt there’s anything to articulate. Your link, which I skimmed, seemed to be talking about swearing. As should be obvious from what you quoted, I have no problem with this; I’m objecting to misogynisitc insults.

  100. #100 Brian's A Wild Downer
    October 25, 2008

    Just for fun, go to Science Daily and type in “Fruit fly” and take a look at how many results come up.

  101. #101 Samn
    October 25, 2008

    @ 2 The ghost of the Hunt Morgans:

    Thank all that is holy. Blessed be maninara!!!

    Kentucky is known for something other than ignorance!

    Hallelujah!!!

  102. #102 SC
    October 25, 2008

    Shadow – You’re a pinheaded (likely male) troll.

  103. #103 John Morales
    October 25, 2008

    Falyne@95 – re: “douchebag” – it’s tool used for “douching”, which literally means showering but is normally understood to mean vaginal irrigation.
    It is a misogynistic slur as much as “cunt” is.

  104. #104 chgo_liz
    October 25, 2008

    Fine, we’ll start calling her a prick, a dick, a son-of-a-bitch, and a motherfucker. Better?

    The first two make no sense when used against a woman (except Ann Coulter), and the last two are insults specifically because they insult women. Grow up please.

  105. #105 SC
    October 25, 2008

    Falyne@95 – re: “douchebag” – it’s tool used for “douching”, which literally means showering but is normally understood to mean vaginal irrigation.
    It is a misogynistic slur as much as “cunt” is.

    No, it isn’t. At least not in the, y’know, vernacular. :)

  106. #106 Patricia
    October 25, 2008

    It takes some real hard tryin’ to offend me.
    Shadow offends me.

    That isn’t even remotely naughty. It’s vulgar.

  107. #107 idlemind
    October 25, 2008

    I missed the part about it being agricultural research. It’s not even speculative — the blow to US olive production (currently worth about $500 million) could be severe unless ways to deal with this particular fly are found.

  108. #108 Shadow
    October 25, 2008

    Actually, I’m just a dumb cunt. Am one and have one, though squid knows you wouldn’t know it to look at me seeing as the genetics fairy couldn’t be bothered to give me anything decent up top.

  109. #109 OctoberMermaid
    October 25, 2008

    #88

    “So who gets to be Ridley?”

    It’d have to be one of the more tenacious trolls that continues to come back again and again even after being destroyed.

    Flames have no effect on you when you hail from Norfair.

  110. #110 Arnosium Upinarum
    October 25, 2008

    Behold the spectacle of a bespectacled dingbat on a national ticket, brought to you by GOP and RNC strategists who thought they could sell America the proposition that any regular Mr. or Mrs. Schmoe they primp up can run the country, just because they think themselves so good at promo.

    In principle, it should have worked. Just a few months ago this was a “bold and brilliant” move guaranteed to catch fire. It was sheer genius. They bought her the smartest-looking wardrobe and hired the best stylists and make-up artists. The formula worked magnificently time and again before, and all the sweetest ingredients went into this one. And this one is so perky it could kill a horse. No way this couldn’t drive people bonkers with excitement! So what happened?

    They just neglected a few little details. One is that most real Americans really don’t think of themselves in political terms, as consumer buyers in a marketplace, ready to pig-out on whatever candy the producer fashions for them, or ready to absorb propagandistic slurs and hate-mongering jingos like mindless sponges.

    Another one is that the hockey mom opens her mouth. Oops.

    Lots other pesky little things like that, you betcha.

  111. #111 Anhomoioi
    October 25, 2008

    Get out the vote for Obama – lest it become
    President Palin sometime in the first term.

    Also, for inspiration enjoy the following videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/USAmericansFor

  112. #112 Jams
    October 25, 2008

    “Bullshit. Evidence for this assertion?” – SC

    I offer as proof the content of all previous Pharyngula posts and the comments on those posts (mostly the comments). As a primer, feel free to take a survey of the “Our Queer Future” comments.

    “As should be obvious from what you quoted, I have no problem with this; I’m objecting to misogynisitc insults.” – SC

    Maybe you could articulate the difference between “swearing” and “misogynisitc insults”? Just so we know what we’re talking about.

  113. #113 Pat
    October 25, 2008

    Anti-intellectualism is rather a McCarthy-esque twist, no? It hearkens back to the era of McCarthyism – now McCainism – that seeks to create absolutes out of arbitrary designations.

    I’m convinced science became a whipping boy when it refused to jump on the bandwagon, failing to discover a biological test for communism or confirm that socialism gave you cancer or for that matter confirm that Jesus Christ was Lord. What use is science, then? It pokes at our sacred cattle, and this observation gave us the famous absolutist canard of “tampering in God’s domain.”

    It has yet to recover, despite decades of scientific advancement. Science was our hero when US scientists discovered the bomb first. Since then, the major advancements haven’t been acknowledged or hailed; instead, God gets the credit for man’s ingenuity.

    I suppose physical immortality will have to be achieved before science once again is acknowledged as worthwhile. There is a profound misunderstanding and devaluation of people who think beyond the superficial, and we wonder why the United States is falling behind in science?

    Theism isn’t the problem, really: it is absolutism. Us or Them. With us or against us. Help or Hurt. The First Church of the False Dichotomy.

    Looks like “paul fcd” is a dues-paying parishioner.

  114. #114 MPW
    October 25, 2008

    Others here have sort of noted this, but the gratuitous “in Paris, France” thrown in there is hilarious. I’m not sure how much of this is her stupidity, and how much her cynical assumption of her target audience’s stupidity. “Mention the French, that’ll get ‘em riled up!”

  115. #115 Stanton
    October 25, 2008

    So, let me get this straight, Sarah Palin demands that medical science cure/treat disabled children, but, also derides scientists for spending money to study model animals like fruit flies in other countries?

    And how does this pinhead think medical scientists come up with the information they use to devise treatments in the first place? Prayer groups in the labs?

  116. #116 uggabugga
    October 25, 2008

    clue to the wailers: the reseach she was criticizing has absolutely nothing to do with investigating molecular mechanisms involved in autism. to shriek that she dare not criticize federal spending on a USDA project that has zero to do with autism based on the fact that a completely different subset of researchers has used fruit flies in an entirely different endeavor to advance our understanding of autism, is just draw-droppingly stupid.
    since chimpanzees have also been used as research models for autism, i guess this means that all research funding for chimp vivisection is now beyond criticism.
    seriously, that’s how idiotic this train of thinking is.

  117. #117 SC
    October 25, 2008

    I offer as proof the content of all previous Pharyngula posts and the comments on those posts (mostly the comments).

    You’ll have to be a bit (really, a lot) more specific. I have no idea what you’re talking about. You certainly haven’t made your case about any “lion’s share.”

    As a primer, feel free to take a survey of the “Our Queer Future” comments.

    I just skimmed through a number of comments on that thread. What gendered slurs are you referring to?

    Maybe you could articulate the difference between “swearing” and “misogynisitc insults”? Just so we know what we’re talking about.

    I think this is obvious to most from my earlier comments. “Shit,” “fuck,” “fucking,” and the like are swears. “Stupid bitch,” “dumb cunt,” and “stupid twat” are misogynistic slurs. Clear?

  118. #118 Rey Fox
    October 25, 2008

    “Like it’s enough to just say “Fruit fly research in Paris France” and people should immediately be outraged?”

    Dog whistle phrases. “Fly research” = research on annoying insects, an obvious waste of money that could be going to bombing brown people or staying in the pocket of Americans so they can buy that jet ski they’ve always wanted. “Fruit” = crazy, extra insult on top of being fly research. “Paris, France” = overseas, un-American, badbad. “I kid you not” = I will talk as dumb as you because you feel threatened by smarter people.

    Jacksonville guy who seems unconcerned about Palin being a backwards idiot:
    “Unfortunately, it appears he (Obama) is choosing to tell you what he thinks you want to hear”

    A presidential candidate telling me what I want to hear? Keep ‘em coming! It’s about time a politician tells me what I want to hear, rather than the redneck next door. As far as I’m concered, Obama is a step in the right direction for that alone.

  119. #119 The Cheerful Nihilist
    October 25, 2008
  120. #120 scrabcake
    October 25, 2008

    I’m not a fan of Sarah Palin…I have dead houseplants with more capacity to lead than she does, but I feel that this remark isn’t a deliberate insult to genetic research, but a product of general ignorance on the subject of biology on the part of the ordinary American.
    The kind of people she’s talking to, and obviously herself have no IDEA what drosophila is and how research on it has impacted modern genetics. To them, it is as it was put by #118.
    I’m not letting her off the hook. She’s wallowing in a self-satisfied way in a stupid and ignorant statement which she has obviously put no thought or research into. Shame on her. But the fact that she’s deriding this at all is a product of the american educational system and general ignorance.

  121. #121 waldteufel
    October 25, 2008

    The most incredibly stupid woman on the planet. I doubt that she can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    I guess that’s why the christers love her.

    Fuck knowledge! Fuck science! Fuck progress! Praise Jeebus!

  122. #122 uggabugga
    October 25, 2008

    [quote]I missed the part about it being agricultural research. It’s not even speculative — the blow to US olive production (currently worth about $500 million) could be severe unless ways to deal with this particular fly are found.[/quote]

    try $60 million.
    http://aic.ucdavis.edu/profiles/Olives_2006.pdf

    i don’t doubt that this project has [i]some[/i] merit. that so many here insist that a $748,000 earmark is beyond criticism on the basis of this ludicrous autims argument, and/or because ‘sarah palin is STOOPID!!!’ is pretty sad, though.

  123. #123 Patricia
    October 25, 2008

    Good night sweethearts!
    I hope someone hacks Shadow while I’m snoozing.

  124. #124 Cath the Canberra Cook
    October 25, 2008

    But surely only latte-sipping libruls eat olives. Olives are elitist food, Real Americans live on velveeta and twinkies!

    Re cunt: I seriously doubt that any self-respecting woman would refer to a cunt as an “oozing hole”. But if Shadow is actually a woman: get help. You shouldn’t have to live with such self-hatred. Drugs and therapy are available.

    Re douchebag: douching is generally NOT a healthy practice. It wrecks the vaginal flora. Vaginas are not dirty, and do not need special chemical deodorisation. Douchebag is a perfectly fine term of abuse; indicating as it does a useless piece of misogynist paraphernalia.

    (Disclaimer: Douching may be useful in certain limited medical situations.)

  125. #125 Shadow
    October 25, 2008

    I always kind of hope someone’ll just kill me while I sleep, but no such luck yet. (Yea, yea, I know. I’d do it myself, but I chicken out every time. I suck.)

    Actually, Patricia, I will apologize for offending you, because I think you’re one of the commenters I usually enjoy reading. One of my buttons got pushed. Which is admittedly no excuse, but like I said, I am a dumb cunt, and once I get started I don’t really have an ‘off’ button. Particularly when there’s no one else around who’s willing to remind me of exactly how much of one I am. I’m a lot more mellow when that’s happening, but the only guy I ever found who could really pull it off eventually dropped me. Not that I blame him.

  126. #126 386sx
    October 25, 2008

    i don’t doubt that this project has [i]some[/i] merit. that so many here insist that a $748,000 earmark is beyond criticism on the basis of this ludicrous autims argument, and/or because ‘sarah palin is STOOPID!!!’ is pretty sad, though.

    I agree 100%. I don’t like the way she phrased it though. “Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.” As if it’s something that people should automatically be outraged about, without even going into the details. “Fruit fly research in Paris France” could be freakin cancer research for all anybody knows, because that’s all she said about it.

  127. #127 Lee M.
    October 25, 2008

    To Jim S. In Jacksonville,
    This is an article about Sarah Palin, not about Barack Obama. If you would like to defend her intelligence please do so.

  128. #128 JohnnieCanuck, FCD
    October 25, 2008

    Why on earth would one pick an example of the failures of the education system to be VP? How crazy is it to choose as one’s leaders, people that are intellectually average or below?

    Democracy, ur dune it rong, Republicans.

  129. #129 Shadow
    October 25, 2008

    I’m sure I don’t have to, but I choose to. I did my time in medically-induced zombie therapy while I was a minor, and I cut and ran as soon as I was legally able. I’m not a danger to anyone – hell, I’m hardly ever even around anyone else – so I don’t really see why I should let someone make me into what they think I should be, or pretend I’m something I’m not.

    And not all cunts are oozing holes. But some of them, the kind you’d equate with someone you found incredibly repulsive? Yea.

  130. #130 Dutchgirl
    October 25, 2008

    @15, Yeah, I would be laughing if it wasn’t so scary. I reminds me a lot of when Bush got all bent out of shape over a smallish grant to study some cave worm in Kentucky. These kinds of people are so happy to have no clue.

  131. #131 Nameless Ho
    October 25, 2008

    She said “study fruit flies in paris” Maybe it was a study on the fruit flies infesting the gaping hole inside paris hilton’s crotch. It is possible that there can be research on fruit flies that is, pardon the pun, fruitless. Unless the author knows for sure what study she is referring to, and that it was something that could yield sold results then he should STFU or look just as ignorant as Palin.

  132. #132 Randy
    October 25, 2008

    So I guess that means she wants researchers experimenting on human infants.

    Her and her running mate might not agree on much, but they both seem to share a hatred of science and science education.

    I better end this before I start swearing…

  133. #133 You suck PZ
    October 25, 2008

    Turns out she is talking about fruit fly research in france to help an infestation in olive farms. This isn’t bio-molecular genetic research to better the human condition … it’s farming research being paid for by your tax dollars to help the private olive farming industry.

    HAHAHAHAHA to the “science blogger” who didn’t do enough basic research before opening his mouth…. MASSIVE FUCKING FAIL!!!

  134. #134 uggabugga
    October 25, 2008

    #133 nails it.
    PZ randomly ejaculated all over himself on this one.

  135. #135 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    This isn’t bio-molecular genetic research to better the human condition … it’s farming research being paid for by your tax dollars to help the private olive farming industry.

    Can’t the research do both?

  136. #136 valdemar
    October 25, 2008

    Wow, people actually site there and type HAHAHAHAHA? You imbeciles, why don’t you bugger off back to Vox Day’s site where you can bow before your mighty overlord and his super hairstyle? Of course research into a fruit fly infestation can benefit humanity. Even a total non-scientist should be able to see that research is research, and some of the greatest discoveries in history have been serendipitous. Or at least, an educated person would know that.

    And Americans who aspire to lead the Free World can, in 2008, refer to ‘Paris, France’? There is the authentic voice of ignorant isolationism. The sort of American who can see a picture of the Eiffel Tower on the movie screen, and still needs a subtitle to explain where they’re looking at.

  137. #137 Anton Mates
    October 25, 2008

    Turns out she is talking about fruit fly research in france to help an infestation in olive farms. This isn’t bio-molecular genetic research to better the human condition … it’s farming research being paid for by your tax dollars to help the private olive farming industry.

    And since the only bit of that she mentioned is that it’s fruit fly research in France, your point is?

    Nobody said you can’t criticize this particular research project in a reasonable way. Sarah Palin’s criticism, however, is stupid.

  138. #138 Steven Sullivan
    October 25, 2008

    So, the governor of *Alaska* is complaining because California got some pork? As the French say, it is to laugh.

    When you mendacious trolls — yes, you, uggabugga, and you ‘you suck PZ’ — heard what Palin said, did you run to *look up* just which grant she was referring to? No, you betcha you didn’t. Like her the rest of her ignorant yahoo base, you simply heard the words ‘fruit fly’ and ‘France’ and let out a whoop of mindless derision…*exactly* the knee-jerk emotional response she was looking for. Otherwise she would have actually, you know, *explained* about the olive farming industry thing…and distinguished it from fruit fly research that’s actually pretty fucking important in the scientific scheme of things…but that might have confused her followers (“Wait, you mean we SHOULDN’T automatically point and laugh when you tell use that some of our taxes go to research on fruit flies?” )

    You braying creeps should just admit that PZ spooked you, and you scurried to the nearest rightwing talking-points outlet in your ongoing desperation to spin Palin’s latest transparent pandering to the booboisie as something *respectable*.

  139. #139 maureen
    October 25, 2008

    Sorry, BobVogel @ 16, but many of us in countries which still have education can cope with the word mutagenize – or mutagenise.

    Either, on a science blog for fuck’s sake, we already know it or we can work out the probable meaning from the elements of the word and then check it in a dictionary – as I just did. It was quite painless and took but a few seconds.

  140. #140 RossK
    October 25, 2008

    And if the research involved the generation of a mutation that caused a certain, say the second, letter of the alphabet to appear in the fly’s ommatadia……

    How would the Empress of the Stoopid feel about that?

    Especially if it was capitalized.

    The letter I mean.

    Huh?

    .

  141. #141 Azkyroth
    October 25, 2008

    As has already been pointed out, research in how to control a pest of what is both a major cash crop and a significant source of nutrition is beneficial both to “the human condition” generally and the economy specifically.

    But fine, list some types of research you would consider important.

  142. #142 ashok pai
    October 25, 2008

    fruit flies or not, she’s pretty darn dumb and dangerous. she’s happy to shoot wild animals and stop making sanctuaries to protect wildlife in alaska, she’d rather convert them into happy oil drilling platforms, snowmobile racegrounds for her husband todd, or kill animals for sport and convert the rest of the liberal ladies into hockey moms with a hundred million dollar in makeup expenses – when given a chance.

  143. #143 Nan
    October 25, 2008

    For those who doubt Palin ever spoke in tongues, please remember she is a member of an Assembly of God church. If she’s been touched by the spirit, which is basically the rite of passage for being a full-fledged member, she’s spoken in tongues. Adult true believers in pentecostal churches who have NOT spoken in tongues are the exception, not the rule.

    I caught part of her speech on CNN. The contradictions are astounding — she wants more research into disabilities, but less money spent on science. Are her speech writers really that stupid? And how crashingly ignorant is she to parrot those lines?

    Here’s hoping that 12 days from now she’s back in Alaska cursing the RNC for saddling her with a $150K tax liability and a dead political career.

  144. #144 jonas
    October 25, 2008

    please cross post this, or something similar, over at huffington.

  145. #145 Jake
    October 25, 2008

    Please note: SC is an obvious troll, and anyone who’s responding to her is obvious trollbait. 2/10.

    As for the video, it’s just amazing, but if I were religious and already voting for Obama, I’d be thanking whatever god I believed in that Palin is the VP. She has single handedly lost the election for the Rethuglicans.

    So Thank you. Thank you Sarah Palin, you guaranteed Obama’s rise to power.

  146. #146 elissaF
    October 25, 2008

    I’d be very surprised if PETA has questioned fruit fly research, despite Bob Vogel’s claim.

    Can you back that up with references, Bob?

  147. #147 Traveller
    October 25, 2008

    but she can see Russia on a clear day

  148. #148 Sleeping at the Console
    October 25, 2008

    Why is she trying to gain support among the illiterate and the ignorant? And why does she want early detection tools but not science? How does she imagine witch doctors make early diagnoses of disorders, perhaps with prayers, crystals and clairvoyance?

    That there is more than three people who can support this whimsical buffoon is astonishing and not just a little frightening.

  149. #149 Frank
    October 25, 2008

    What many posters don’t seem to realize is that Sarah is not only ignorant herself, but she’s so appallingly ignorant that she’s appointed a flock of nitwits, incompetents, dropouts and religious fanatics to most government posts in Alaska. It’s inconvenient to belive in anthropogenic global warming, so she dismisses the theory as easily as she would dismiss an unbelieving picket outside her church.

    Sarah appointed an old high school buddy who worked in a burger and ice cream shop with her as the Commissioner of Corrections. She and he decimated the ranks of correctional officers, rapidly creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment. The fairly conservative guards then held a vote of no-confidence in the Commissioner, him losing 514-19. Her response? “Two hundred didn’t vote.”

    This story is worth a look: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-palinrecords24-2008oct24,0,3252868.story

    Sarah is not fazed by nuclear destruction nor environmental collapse. Like James Watt, Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior, she believes the “Rapture” is just around the corner and the faithful will be carried up to heaven while the rest of us fry. No point in saving anything, as it will all be quickly gone.

  150. #150 Andre Esteves
    October 25, 2008

    Don’t be fooled by the lady…

    She’s mom to a retarded child. So in the eyes of her followers she’s speaking for all the mom’s and pop’s who decided to bear a defective child into this world.

    And you know what will come next, the question: couldn’t she just had an abortion? And therefore she will be linking the evil atheist fly scientists with current conception practices and ABORTION…

  151. #151 Helen Knox
    October 25, 2008
  152. #152 Ben
    October 25, 2008

    The amazing thing is that she heard enough about genetic research to know about the fruit fly, but not enough to realize its importance. Her problem is far worse than mere ignorance. Ignorance in an intelligent and curious person can be readily corrected by *gasp* reading wikipedia at the very least. For example, I haven’t got the foggiest idea about horticulture but if I had to talk about it to another human being I could bone up on the principals point of consideration within the hour. Her problem is a complete lack of intellectual curiosity and a complete lack of respect for facts and logic. Like they say, you can’t fix stupid (and I’ll add – laziness).

    But it really isn’t so difficult to find an intellectual lightweight like Palin in America. The issue is, what was McCain smoking when he picked her from the applecart? This man, who is now 72, picks a moron for VP, and puts the whole country at high risk of an idiocracy that would make Bush’s look like the rule of philosopher kings by comparison. If that’s what he terms putting his country first, I have a bridge to nowhere I’d like him to cross.

  153. #153 Kimber
    October 25, 2008

    Here is a song entitled “Gun”. Its food for thought for Sarah Palin and her like in the gun lobby group. If you enjoy this please feel free to post to your friends. (PS: its only for open minded adults who can laugh at themselves!)

    Click the link below and you can stream or download the selected music.

    Thanks in advance,

    Kim Imber

    http://www.broadjam.com/transmit/index.php?txygnbz=12631&chkldsxv1=176812&yhgbndsq=1

  154. #154 scooter
    October 25, 2008

    Using sex organs as insults is just lazy.

    The best insults are more creative.

    Bat-shit Crazy never gets old

    Butt-munching Tweed-weasel I made that up to describe Creationists pretending to be scientists.

    Witless window-licking clown car from Capitol Dan

    back kneed godsucking scuttle puppy for the religulous

    Wanking chest puddle code for Jerk-off, or Jag-off, or Jack-off, depending upon where you’re from.

    Flame Retardant Gas Bag I can come up with these all day.

    Transitional Species a pedantic insult that might be taken as a compliment by a knuckle-dragger

    Mouth-breathing Knuckle Dragger

    Pus Bucket
    Ass Clown
    Ass Hat
    fucktard
    phlegm rat
    fence post child
    hairBag
    hammerhead
    stop light

    etc

  155. #155 scooter
    October 25, 2008

    Falyne @ 95 : I’ll defend even Ann fucking Coulter against being called a cunt or a bitch, because, frankly, it’s not in my interest for women with public lives to be denigrated simply for being women

    Maher got a good one off on Coulter last week while describing Joe the Plumber, “A confused right wing loud-mouth whose plumbing credentials are in question. He’s Ann Coulter !!”

  156. #156 Sarge
    October 25, 2008

    OK. That’s it! Adopt a fruit fly. Don’t bother trying to adopt those on welfare. They don’t want it. Try for the newly born fruit flies. They live longer and make better pets. Oops! Sorry PETA! Export those illegal alien fruit flies to back where they came from. If you raise a smart one, send it to Harvard and points beyond. Geeeezzzz! This could go on forever.

  157. #157 FlameDuck
    October 25, 2008

    This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod

    Oh go on, tell us how you really feel.

    You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work?

    I think that’s a perfectly valid idea actually. You could start with fucking Wasilla, Alaska nobody’s going to miss that shithole, or any of the backwater, inbred, retards who live there, although finding a human analog in that genetic garbage is probably somewhat difficult. In fact you could probably round up all the Jesus freaks (unlike death row prisoners, it’s not like they have anything to live for, I mean their greatest desire is to die and go to heaven!) and subject them to horrible experiments that would make Josef Mengele squirm.

  158. #158 James Haight
    October 25, 2008

    Turns out she is talking about fruit fly research in france to help an infestation in olive farms. This isn’t bio-molecular genetic research to better the human condition … it’s farming research being paid for by your tax dollars to help the private olive farming industry

    Right, thanks – tax cuts for the benefit of private industry GOOD, research on topics that may benefit private industry BAD. I need to write all of this shit down, or come up with some kind of mnemonic, ’cause I’m slightly dumb and find it hard to remember things with very little internal consistency to them.

    Don’t diss agricultural research too loudly, either. We’ve grown rather than conjured our food out of thin air by way of spouting bullshit political denunciations for quite a while, now, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

  159. #159 varlo
    October 25, 2008

    Re #70 “What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruitfly?”

    Improvement.

  160. #160 negentropyeater
    October 25, 2008

    Ah well, I’m French, I live in Spain, I get Fox News via satellite, the amount of European bashing (ans especially French) that’s being broadcasted on that channel right now is quite impressive !
    Every piece of news seems to be an opportunity for a particular brand of Americans to hit on us. I kid you not, I’m listening and I hear it all day long on America’s favorite news channel.
    Whether it’s references to socialist Europe, the welfare state, government control, anti-americanism, whatever, it seems this economic crisis is having the opposite effect on these people you’d expect.
    Instead of reversing American exceptionalist ideas in the psyche of these people, it seems this crisis is exacerbating them.
    I know this is not representative of the majority of Americans. Maybe 45% only. The same people who are going to vote for McCain, the same who don’t believe in Evolution, the same Christian fundamentalists.
    But it is a worrying trend that there is so much polarization in the USA between two Americas, a blue one which looks to a future which looks very much in convergence with the way Europeans look to the future, a more balanced role between govt regulation and economic freedom, and that wishes for rapid secularization . A red one which seems to be focussed on ideals of American exceptionalism, libertarianism and wouldn’t mind if the USA became a theocracy.

    If the trend continues, I think Americans will have no choice in the future than to reconsider the fundamental idea of the Union. I sincerely doubt this will hold the USA together for the next quarter of century.

  161. #161 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    Thus spake Jake:

    SC is an obvious troll

    That must be why she’s been nominated for a Molly many times over the last several months.

    On the particular point, I half agree with SC: I abjure words like “cunt”, but I find it useful when another person uses them, since it tells me something about him/her.

  162. #162 Jiff mAson
    October 25, 2008

    LOL, Ignorant is a MAJOR understatement. McBush and Plain are no doubt two peas in a pod.

    Jiff
    http://www.anonymity.pro.tc

  163. #163 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    A red one which seems to be focussed on ideals of American exceptionalism, libertarianism and wouldn’t mind if the USA became a theocracy.

    This is an incredibly confused and self-contradictory statement. Libertarianism is antithetical to theocracy. Those of us who identify as libertarian oppose government regulation both in the economic and in the social sphere.

    Of course, it is perfectly possible (though, IMO, philosophically incoherent) to be simultaneously socially theocratic and economically libertarian. But I don’t think this describes the American religious right. Rather, they are not “libertarian” in any sense. They support big business solely because big business donates to their campaigns, and because they instinctively want to preserve the status quo. They aren’t actually all that interested in the free market (the interests of the biggest corporations are not the same as, and are for the most part antithetical to, the interests of a free market, as anyone familiar with The Wealth of Nations will realise). They might support free trade or lower taxes when politically convenient; but they’re happy to maintain wasteful pork-barrel policies (Bridge to Nowhere, anyone?), borrow-and-spend funded by an ever-increasing public debt, and even protectionism when big industry calls for it.

    So don’t conflate libertarians with the American right. We libertarians believe in a society based on freedom from force and coercion; in which the person and property of individuals is protected, and people are free to enter into voluntary commercial transactions for mutual benefit. We believe in free trade and small, limited government – and we support this consistently, not just when it’s politically convenient. Nothing could be more antithetical to libertarianism than theocracy.

  164. #164 CN
    October 25, 2008

    “What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruit fly?”

    Same thing anyone else gets for crossing Sarah Palin: harassed, fired and shot from helicopters.

  165. #165 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    Thus spake varlo:

    Re #70 “What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruitfly?”
    Improvement.

    Not for the fruitfly.

  166. #166 negentropyeater
    October 25, 2008

    France is the the symbol of all that they hate :

    1. secular govt and more than 50% non believers
    2. a mixed economy (some chunks dominated by captilatistic free markets, others socialism) and stronger govt regulations
    3. opposition to Americans in the Iraq war and de Gaulle’s attitude towards Nato in the past

    Let’s see what comes out of this G20 meeting next month in Washington. Sarkozy and Europe will be pushing for a complete overhaul of global trade and financial regulations, China and Japan have not yet clarified what position they will take, clearly, they don’t want to take position before hearng what the new president elect wants to do (Bush already stated he wants to maintain the current basis for free trade and financial regulation, no surprise here).

    So the key question is, what will President elect Obama do ? Will he move in the European’s direction and actually take the leading role in this process (in the same way as Roosevelt did after the war) ?

    This will be the first big test for Obama (if he is elected, which does seem very likely).

  167. #167 Katkinkate
    October 25, 2008

    When I was looking at the news/commentary site ‘Crikey.com’ just a while ago, on the way to an article I saw the words “Sarah Palin for President, 2012″ flash past. I couldn’t find it when I went back though. Maybe that’s what those Mayan prophecies about the world ending in 2012 are about. ;)

  168. #168 Edward Longshanks
    October 25, 2008

    Dear Mr Pharyngula,

    Re: “…and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada…”

    Can you stop referring to the United Kingdom as “England” when you mean the United Kingdom please?

    If you mean England then say England, if you mean the United Kingdom then say United Kingdom, but please stop insulting your Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish readers by ignoring them.

  169. #169 negentropyeater
    October 25, 2008

    Walton,

    Nothing could be more antithetical to libertarianism than theocracy.

    the ideals of libertarianism are self contradictory. It’s completely unstable and yields necessarily to corporatism.

    Libertarianism is the philosophical vehicle that will drive America, if it succeeds, towards a corporatist theocratic form of govt.
    In Europe, we just call it facism.

  170. #170 CN
    October 25, 2008

    What he was smoking when he picked her …

    … or where he was looking?

    Remember he has a thing for ex-beauty-pageant types.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RN5xbWtNSU

    I’m not so sure people in Holland will be laughing that hard at her, though, #15.

    http://flood.firetree.net/?ll=53.5077,5.1965&z=10&m=2&t=2

    Cause for concern, isn’t it?

    How about “vile, repugnant, disgusting, incompetent, arrogant, egotistical, nepotistic, treacherous, dishonest, manipulative, slimy, theocratic, worthless, psychotic piece of rancid shit pandering to lunatics, fascists, plutocrats, and unmitigated scum, with the constant support of schoolyard bullies, hypocrits, liars and anti-intellectual slime-buckets at faux gnus” as a description? Is that sufficiently gender-neutral?

  171. #171 RobinSV
    October 25, 2008

    RE #159

    Re #70 “What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruitfly?”

    “Improvement.”

    For Palin maybe, but what about the poor fruit flies?

  172. #172 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruitfly? – artemesia

    A cognitively challenged fruitfly.

  173. #173 negentropyeater
    October 25, 2008

    Walton,

    Of course, it is perfectly possible (though, IMO, philosophically incoherent) to be simultaneously socially theocratic and economically libertarian. But I don’t think this describes the American religious right. Rather, they are not “libertarian” in any sense. They support big business solely because big business donates to their campaigns, and because they instinctively want to preserve the status quo.

    This just shows your complete naïvity. The religious right is pushing for far reduced govt (except for police and defense), even with education. Their ideals are profoundly libertarian. The fact that in practice this yields to a corporatist state is just a necessary consequence of extreme libertarianism, as seen in Chile, Spain, Italy…etc
    And religion works perfectly well with libertarianism, it helps to define the absolute parameters of that illusion of freedom the libertarians are striving for and never obtain.

    You really are sooooo naïve, it’s unbelievable.

  174. #174 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Have to agree with SC about misogynistic insults. Although I don’t use “prick”, “dick” etc. either, it’s disingenuous to pretend these have the same role in maintaining gender inequality as “bitch” or “cunt” aimed at women.

  175. #175 Steve
    October 25, 2008

    Ron White did some research using fruit flies about a year ago, and he concluded “you can’t fix stupid.”

  176. #176 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    The religious right is pushing for far reduced govt (except for police and defense), even with education. Their ideals are profoundly libertarian. The fact that in practice this yields to a corporatist state is just a necessary consequence of extreme libertarianism, as seen in Chile, Spain, Italy…etc

    I respectfully disagree. Last night I attended a talk by economist David Friedman in which he discussed the causes and consequences of market failure. Any sensible economist must concede that the free market often produces imperfect results, because of the problems of externalities and public goods (the “tragedy of the commons” which we discussed on another thread). Classic examples, of course, are air pollution and fish stocks; it is in the interest of each player in the market to pollute as much as they can get away with, or fish as much as they can get away with, and in the long run this leads to depletion of resources. Friedman does not deny this.

    Rather, he points out that exactly the same considerations apply to governmental decision-making in a democratic state. Take farm subsidies and tariffs, for instance; they promote the interests of the few at the expense of the many, driving up prices and impoverishing producers in the Third World. But because Western farmers are a small and well-organised group, and have a great deal to lose economically from any reduction in subsidies, they act in their own rational self-interest in lobbying hard for the retention of subsidies. In contrast, the average taxpayer – to whom farm subsidies cost relatively little, in comparison to other areas of public spending – has no incentive to lobby for their abolition. Hence we get iniquitous policies which benefit a small group of special interests at the expense of the majority of the people – because “market failure”, as Friedman defines it, applies to government decision-making as well as that in the free market.

    I realise this may seem irrelevant; but it isn’t. I’m trying to make the point that while markets often produce bad results, because individual self-interest does not always correspond with the long-term best interests of the group, exactly the same considerations apply to government regulation. Once you give government the power to intervene in the economy, and to work for or against the interests of particular economic groups, then various groups will lobby to get policies which act in their interest – even where this runs contrary to the public interest. And this is the root of the problem; this is what produces the corporatist state. As Adam Smith explained so long ago, all traders would like to be monopolists; and if they have a chance to influence the political process, then it will inevitably be influenced in favour of the few against the interests of the many, simply because the few have more at stake. So the only answer is to limit government so much, and to have so little intervention in the market, that corporations cannot use the power of the state for self-aggrandisement.

    Libertarianism is not perfect. It does not purport to be. We don’t claim that free markets produce the perfect result, since that is both logically and empirically untrue. Nor do we subscribe to the ludicrous Randian view of capitalists as noble heroes, or pretend that what’s good for business is always good for society. Rather, we claim that government intervention produces worse results, and therefore that it should be kept to a minimum.

  177. #177 negentropyeater
    October 25, 2008

    “Stupid bitch,” “dumb cunt,” and “stupid twat” are misogynistic slurs. Clear?

    I’m going to side with SC here.
    Racist slurs towards Obama such as “Stupid nigger” or “dumb black ass” would rightfully provoke some very strong rejection on this blog, and we should treat misogynistic ones towards Palin exactly the same way.

  178. #178 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    Racist slurs towards Obama such as “Stupid n***r” or “dumb black ass” would rightfully provoke some very strong rejection on this blog, and we should treat misogynistic ones towards Palin exactly the same way.

    I concur absolutely.

  179. #179 Rich Stage
    October 25, 2008

    I want to make a challenge to those fundagelicals who believe so fervently that their jeebus will carry McCain into the presidency:

    Don’t vote.

    Seriously, don’t vote. Gawsh will make those eeevil Dems lose, as long as you have faith enough. By voting, you are showing gawd that you do not, in fact, have faith in him, and that will make baby jeebus cry.

    So, just stay at church on November 4th, and leave it in the hand of your particular magic sky zombie.

  180. #180 Rick Schauer
    October 25, 2008

    What we’re witnessing with Palin and her ilk is similar to a new sect of Amish evolve. Their sparse cognitors fall off an imaginary cliff when asked to parse anything other than indoctrinated rhetoric.

    Additionally, when compared to Palin, fruit flys are much more evolved and observably show a higher level of intelligence and altruism. To wit; fruit flys appear willing to sacrifice their lives for science – not superstitions.

  181. #182 steverino
    October 25, 2008

    In the world of internet design and development…if she were to make this comment in a design meeting, the rest of us would just look at each other…shake our heads and then one of us would mutter…”404″ ( = page not found)

    And the rest would laugh our asses off.

  182. #183 amk
    October 25, 2008

    In Europe, we just call it facism.

    I’m not sure I agree with your definition of fascism. Dave Neiwert writes about it here, part of a series in which he compares and contrasts it to the modern American conservative movement.

  183. #184 negentropyeater
    October 25, 2008

    Walton,

    Adam Smith explained so long ago, all traders would like to be monopolists; and if they have a chance to influence the political process, then it will inevitably be influenced in favour of the few against the interests of the many, simply because the few have more at stake. So the only answer is to limit government so much, and to have so little intervention in the market, that corporations cannot use the power of the state for self-aggrandisement.

    You’re writing this and you don’t even seem to see the obvious contradiction.
    If all traders want to be monpolists, no regulation and no govt intervention will necessarily drive to corporatism.

    Isn’t that fucking obvious ?

    Actually, most of the lobbying has been done by corporations in order to RESIST stronger regulations, not to ASK FOR favorable regulations. That’s how they strive and become more powerful. They don’t strive to use the power of the state, but to minimize it for self-agrangisement. This has been valid accross all industries, be it banking and finance, tobacco, heavy metal, energy, pharmaceuticals, distribution, etc…

    You really have absolutely no idea of what you are talking.

  184. #185 John
    October 25, 2008

    Did anyone honestly expect more from a woman who holds nothing more than a bachelor’s degree in Communications-journalism and everything that she has ever accomplished as governor of Alaska has revolved around her husband’s business.
    Read her biography.
    Outside of hunting, fishing, running, being a wife and a mother, and listening to her husband, this woman knows nothing.
    What will her story be when the results of continued fruit fly research one day come up with medical breakthroughs in treatments for children born with Down syndrome. Will she then be able to explain why she was so against this research to Trig?
    Her ignorance is dangerous.

  185. #186 Matt Heath
    October 25, 2008

    Are they dog-whistling to anyone in particular by picking scientific research (bear DNA, fruit-flies) and education (planetarium projectors) when they want to talk about “waste”?

    Even most anti-science people don’t THINK they are anti-science, right? That’s why creationists and homoeopaths always crave “scienciness” with journals and such and footnotes and such. So who is it that heres “Bear DNA? That sounds like SCIENCE! I’m against that!”. (Assuming McFailin already have Ben Stein’s vote in the bag

  186. #187 Claire
    October 25, 2008

    What a dumb, dumb, idiot of a woman. Unfortunately, most of my family is voting for McCain and Palin and they just can’t seem to understand why my husband and I are voting for Obama and Biden. I finally had to make a video and post it on facebook and YouTube so I could explain it to them, sorta in person (since I can’t make the hike back to Louisiana before the election). It makes me sad to think that our families don’t seem to care that they could really make life difficult for my husband and I in the next four years. They all have pretty secure jobs, while we are still grad students and will have to look for post-doc positions. If we think NSF funding is bad now, just wait if McCain and Palin are elected into office (which I hope is not the case). Maybe part of the problem is that most Americans don’t understand why basic research is done in the first place. I know my family doesn’t get why I want to study fish pharyngeal jaws all day. My 83 year old grandfather wants to know why I don’t study HIV, and my dad wanted to know if I could find a fish model for autism. I really am scared for my future if those two science hating idiots are elected into office.

  187. #188 amk
    October 25, 2008

    Lobbyists need to be shot. Problem solved!

    The free market requires government intervention, to prevent monopolies and cartels.

    Competition arises from consumer freedom. Allowing consumers to mix and match between supplies increases competition. Thus, there are a number of existing businesses which it would be beneficial to break up. AMD recently separated its fabs and design: forcing Intel to do the same would be a good thing, as then consumers could potentially have the best designed chip fabbed on the best process. Don’t get me started on Microsoft ;)

  188. #189 G Koentges
    October 25, 2008

    Of course as a creationist she *cannot* possibly understand how fruit fly research is meaningful for biomedical research – if god has made the world, every thing is different, no way he would have re-used his precious ideas in different creatures ;-). Well, evolution,i.e. shared heritage is the reason that molecular controls and pathways are conserved, which is th only reason why Drosophila is a suitable model system for solving biomedical problems affecting vertebrates and humans alike. She is an entirely consistent lunatic. If such ignorance rules the White House America’s scientific leadership will be gone for good. Kiddies, let’s go back to praying for Santa Claus. Let’s go back into the caves (well , they wouldn’t be very conducive to the education of special needs children…). Abhorrent lack of judgement. I hope the American public will recognize that this babe is not of a mettle that should guide them into the future.

  189. #190 diddy
    October 25, 2008

    Palin/McSain are both distructive and we are heading down a dark road regardless… What ever happened to self reliance, the idea of Freedom and more importantly the Constitution? The founders and fighters of this country would be disgusted by what we are putting up with. The very reason many of them died was to give us Liberty and a document that told us how to prevent tyranny. Yet, the people the Constitution was designed to protect are choosing to listen to the media propaganda and say “its outdated and irrelavant”. We are choosing more government control with big government represented by Both partys. Don’t be fooled here, neither party is for the people. They are for big money and big bankers. Read your history… Please!!! Start by going to Youtube and searching for “America: Freedom to Fascism.” I think people know in their gut that things aren’t right with both parties, but feel they have no choice. We do have a choice and it’s up to us to get educated and organized.

  190. #191 student_b
    October 25, 2008

    I have to support SC here. As PZ shows (and wants us to follow) it’s entirely possible to use insults that aren’t sexist at the same time.

  191. #192 heddle
    October 25, 2008

    What she said is not so crazy. Scarce scientific research funds should be allocated on merit–based on peer review of competing proposals. Apply for grants, make a scientific case, receive your grant. That’s how it should work. Was this an earmark that went directly to the researcher or research team, or was it to some state agenecy that then invited grant proposals? If its the former, she has a point.

  192. #193 negentropyeater
    October 25, 2008

    amk,

    there’s nothing I disagree with in that article.

    The 5 key elements are IMHO the following :

    1. “Even the Nazis and the Fascists of Italy used a lot of tactics before assuming power, which is why fascism presents such a protean, serpentine aspect — that’s key to understanding them.”

    2. “Fascism is a poisonous ideology that grows and adapts to its circumstances — Eurofascism reflected European vices; American fascism is similarly home-brewed. Therein lies the challenge in identifying it and combating it. Fascism always wraps itself in the flag, always seeks absolute power, always brands opponents as traitors, always relies heavily on propaganda for dissemination of its ideas, always invokes subversive enemies (at home and abroad), always embraces militarism and permanent war, always favors politicizing of police functions (and expanding them and the surveillance state), always scorns intellectuals, artists, and bourgeois democratic values, always is hostile to leftist and labor movements, and is obsessed with idealized images of a mythic “better time” of the past (while at the same time destroying that past, and the nation as a whole).”

    3. “In a historical sense, fascism is maybe best understood as an extreme reaction against socialism and communism; in its early years it was essentially defined as “extremist anti-communism.”

    4. “Each national variant of fascism draws its legitimacy, as we shall see, not from some universal scripture but from what it considers the most authentic elements of its own community identity. Religion, for example, would certainly play a much larger role in an authentic fascism in the United States than in the first European fascisms, which were pagan for contingent historical reasons.”

    5. “It was explicitly anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and corporatist”

    When I say that libertarianism will be the vehicle for a facist theocratic state, that doesn’t mean that phase 1 is going to be a facist theocratic state. That will be the way they try to get hold of power, but if they succeed in doing so, as libertarianism automatically gives way to corporatism, the state will transform itself gradually into a facist theocratic one.

    Destruction of democratic Govt is first necessary for the corporatist theocratic state to come to the rescue.

    The only reason why it didn’t happen under Bush, is that he wasn’t yet Libertarian enough. If you just wait for the next one, he won’t make that mistake.

  193. #194 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    If all traders want to be monpolists, no regulation and no govt intervention will necessarily drive to corporatism.

    Isn’t that fucking obvious ?

    No. Because they can’t. As long as there is a free market, they can always be undercut by someone offering better value to the consumer.

    The biggest monopolies are formed in industries with a great deal of state intervention and regulation. You cite Microsoft, but Microsoft is far from being a monopoly; last time I checked, the Apple Mac was not dead. Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better; and that is competition at work.

    In contrast, if you look at those corporations which have been constantly embroiled in controversy and shady practices – defence contractors like Halliburton or BAE Systems, banks and financial institutions, big pharmaceutical companies, etc. – these are the corporations which work in industries with a great deal of government involvement and regulation. Simply put, it is not easy to set up a competing business in any of these industries. You can’t just decide to set up a bank like you can a supermarket. Likewise, with pharmaceuticals, the manufacturers are highly regulated and need FDA/equivalent approval to make and market their products; this makes it harder for competitors to break into the market. (And in most countries, the US excepted, the national government is also the major buyer of pharmaceuticals.) And with defence contractors, government tends to award the contracts to large companies which are part of the “iron triangle” and are experienced at lobbying politicians and bureaucrats.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asserting that we should abolish all regulation in the pharmaceutical or defence industries. But I’m pointing out that the big, exploitative quasi-monopolists all exist in industries where government intervenes, making it harder and more expensive for the little guy to break into the market.
    So the answer to problems in industry cannot be more regulation.

    Especially since, as I keep pointing out, banking is one of the most regulated of all industries. Let’s compare it with other industries. Strangely enough, industries like, say, the supermarket trade seem to work fine with minimal government regulation. In contrast, it is those industries where we have the most regulation – pharmaceuticals, healthcare, defence, banking, energy – where there are the greatest number of corrupt quasi-monopolists, and the greatest number of corporate scandals.

  194. #195 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    (My apologies: it was amk and not negentropyeater who mentioned Microsoft.)

  195. #196 jmj
    October 25, 2008

    The frightning aspect of this is that the last person that ran for national election who was so misinformed and so ill-spoken, actually won. At least it was not by a popular vote, so I hold onto a little hope that most Americans are not totally stupid.

  196. #197 Tanya
    October 25, 2008

    Obligatory Simpsons quote:

    “Oh, I’m paralyzed, I just hope medical science can cure me!”
    — Moe, part of a Science-destroying mob, “Lisa the Skeptic” (http://www.snpp.com/episodes/5F05)

  197. #198 CalGeorge
    October 25, 2008

    David Sedaris on undecided voters:

    To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

    To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/2008/10/27/081027sh_shouts_sedaris

  198. #199 MartinB
    October 25, 2008

    @heddle:

    You would be right if she had argued all this. But just stating “fruit fly reasearch” as if this in itself is obviously absurd shows that (even if we assume – in dubio pro reo – that she knew all about the case) she tries to appeal to the stupidity of people. So either she’s clueless or dishonest. It’s on a very similar level to McCains overhead projector – either he really did not know what it was or he, despite his better knowledge, stated it the way to make it sound ridiculous.

  199. #200 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    Negentropyeater at #193: I hardly know where to begin in criticising your assertions, and those in the article that amk cited.

    Fascism is centred around authoritarian nationalism. For a fascist, the most important thing is not the interests of the individual, but the aggrandisement of the nation-state. This was reflected in the economic policies of Hitler and Mussolini, which were largely Keynesian and statist. While they left large corporations (such as Krupps) in place, largely due to political convenience, they did maintain tight control over the economy through quotas and tariffs. One of their major economic goals was autarky – economic self-sufficiency. In other words, like every other aspect of fascism, fascist economics was informed by ultra-nationalism and by worship of the State.

    In contrast, we libertarians are implacably opposed to economic nationalism. Subsidies, tariffs and quotas should be torn down. There should be free movement of capital, goods and (as far as practicably possible) labour across national boundaries. Global capitalism is inherently an anti-nationalist force; as the whole world becomes more connected, both economically and culturally, the power of governments will be reduced, and thus so will the probability of war between nations. We look for a free-trading world in which nationalism is broken down, and individuals the world over are free to engage in mutually beneficial economic exchange.

    The closest thing to true fascism in the world today is the Juche ideology of North Korea. This combines socialism and nationalism; their economic policies are based on the policy of “Military First”, and on national self-sufficiency and economic independence from the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter to them that their people are impoverished, both economically and culturally, by their rabid statist isolationism; the aggrandisement of the state is, to them, of greater importance than individual prosperity.

    The other modern trend that I would compare to fascism is the Bolivarian ideology of Chavez and Morales in Latin America. This combines Latin American nationalism, socialist economic policies, and irrational hostility to America and the West; and, once again, they are willing to pursue economic isolationism, impoverishing their people in the process, for the aggrandisement of the nation-state.

    I am not going to make the simplistic assertion that, because Hitler’s ideology termed itself “national socialism”, fascism is ipso facto a form of socialism. It has nothing to do with Marxian socialism, because Marxian socialism is internationalist, whereas fascism centres on the nation-state. But, for the reasons I have outlined, to compare libertarianism to fascism is wrong-headed and frankly insane.

  200. #201 amk
    October 25, 2008

    Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better

    Lulz. You’re not in the IT sector then?

    MS is ubiquitous because MS is ubiquitous. You’re a user and need to be compatible with everyone else? Then you use what everyone else uses. You’re a developer who wants to sell to the most customers? Then you target the largest installed platform. You’re a user who wants the broadest choice of applications? Then you buy into the largest installed platform.

    MS got where it is using a simple clone of CP/M. It rode the back of IBM’s marketing and Lotus 1-2-3. It had nothing to do with technical merit. Since then there have been many platforms with more technical merit than MS at that point in time (OS/2 (Warp), Acorn, MacOS, MacOS X, BeOS, NeXT) that have failed to overthrow MS.

    The whole IT market tends towards monopoly because of the lack of interoperability. APIs, protocols and file formats need to be open standards. There is some movement towards this (e.g. MS pursuing ISO standardisation of its OOXML format – although it looks to me like the existing ODF format is superior). A number of governments wanted their files in open standard formats (so they could guarantee being able to read them in fifty years), putting much pressure on MS.

    I’ve replied wrt Tragedy of the Commons here. You made what was your most sensible post here yet. Well done!

  201. #202 amk
    October 25, 2008

    I’ve replied wrt Tragedy of the Commons here.

    Up a bit…

  202. #203 SC
    October 25, 2008

    What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruitfly?

    How do we know she isn’t the result of such a cross? Fecund genetic line, tiny brain, one-month national political life,… And why does she object so strongly to research on fruit flies, huh?

    As PZ shows…it’s entirely possible to use insults that aren’t sexist at the same time.

    Exactly. Two of my recent favorites:

    raving fruitbat
    Rovian slimebeasts

    (Liked scooter’s list, too.)

    And thanks to those who’ve supported my position. I’m not at all for censorship, and I agree with Emmet that it’s useful in showing us the kind of person someone is. After returning home several times this week and hitting upon threads riddled with these remarks, I was fed up, and didn’t want to see this one turn into another that seemed hostile to women. I would be just as angry if people were using racial or ethnic slurs against the Taliban. Just don’t want to be in that kind of environment, and don’t want others to feel unwelcome.

  203. #204 artemisia
    October 25, 2008

    #70

    A fruit fly with less intelligence
    A fruit fly with lipstick
    A fruit fly with $150K makeover
    A fruit fly who needs to learn about the US Constitution

  204. #205 Ian H Spedding FCD
    October 25, 2008

    Thus spake “the wackaloon from Wasilla”

    Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? [...] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good.

    As my wife just pointed out, Palin has a point: far better to earmark $150,000.00 or so for candidates clothing, accessories and a makeover. My wife has also just decided she would like to run for VP if that sort of money is one of the perks of the job. She’s even prepared to give up her moose-killing license for that.

  205. #206 CalGeorge
    October 25, 2008

    Interesting headline:

    Fruit Fly Research Set To Revolutionize Study Of Birth Defects (Science News, Nov. 22, 2005)

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051122093217.htm

    Interesting fact:

    Alaska infants are twice as likely to be born with major birth defects as infants in the U.S. as a whole, according to a new study by the state Department of Health and Social Services — and officials are at a loss to explain why.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/108/story/44560.html

    You would think that Sarah Palin would care about these things. But, no, she’s more interested in spendind 22K for a makeup artist for two weeks and 150K on two months worth of clothing and accessories.

    Talk about screwed-up priorities.

  206. #207 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    OT, SC, could you give us an update on MAJeff, or ask him to drop by for a couple of posts?

  207. #208 David
    October 25, 2008

    Give Sarah Palin a map of the world and ask her to point to Paris, France.

  208. #209 Blue Girl
    October 25, 2008

    Something tells me that this clod couldn’t define a homeobox complex if her life depended on it.

  209. #210 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    Thus spake Walton:

    You cite Microsoft, but Microsoft is far from being a monopoly; last time I checked, the Apple Mac was not dead. Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better; and that is competition at work.

    Microsoft isn’t a monopoly and succeeds because its products are better? What unmitigated bullshit. How many times must Microsoft lose in court, and be convicted of abusing federal antitrust statutes? Remember the DR-DOS debacle? No, didn’t think so. What non-Microsoft competing products have you tried over the last 20 years? Microsoft is way behind the curve in feature innovation, and when they do add stuff, they invariably fail to learn from the mistakes made by the originals, making stupid mistakes over and over and over again. Clean separation between privileged and non-privileged users hasn’t been a problem on Unix in 30 years and it’s still a pain in the ass on Windows. Or maybe “DLL hell” vs. versioned shared libraries? Take “Remote desktop”, which was introduced (as an expensive add-on) by M$ in 1998, a full 14 years after the X-Window System had network transparency designed-in.

    Thus spake amk:

    There is some movement towards this (e.g. MS pursuing ISO standardisation of its OOXML format – although it looks to me like the existing ODF format is superior).

    Yes, but Microsoft has no interest in enabling competition via standardisation, quite the opposite. Microsoft tried to fast-track their patent-encumbered OOXML through ISO specifically to undermine ODF, which they saw as a threat should huge government clients insist on de jure standards. It’s just another iteration of the “embrace and extend” philosophy that has guided them for 20 years. They don’t want any standard to succeed unless it is entirely controlled by them.

  210. #211 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    @ Heddle

    I hardly ever agree with you and I find some of your opinions baffling but i consider you to be an intelligent person.

    It really amazes me that you can defend Palin. Seriously.

  211. #212 Jake
    October 25, 2008

    Emmet Caulfield #166

    That is as it may be, and I agree about the cunt part, I do not like the use of the swear word, but I still think that SC is being overly sensitive in the use of ‘bitch’ and whatnot. Sure, they’re swear words that are against the female race, as there are against males, and as it is that we’re insulting her (Sarah Palin that is) I don’t see any particular reason why people should have to be so damned politically correct.

    SC’s reaction at #40 in my opinion is over sensitive, but then again, maybe I’m just entirely desensitised.

    Also to the person that mentioned that slurs that decry sexes are in the same vain as slurs that decry race, that couldn’t be further from correct. While on stage a comic is well within accepted convention to use bitch/bastard dickhead/slapper or whatnot, but as we know with displays semi-recently with other white comedians it’s very much taboo to use racial slurs. I don’t know why, it’s just different.

    I do apologise as political correctness gets my goad up. Back to lurking for me.

  212. #213 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    slapper?

  213. #214 muffler
    October 25, 2008

    Astounding is all I can say. These people live comfortably from the fruits of scientific labor and yet think it all just magically appears. TVs, Jet Planes, Medicine etc. They are buffoons and scared individuals. They don’t want change. Remember went he church was last in control of science, morality and politics? They called it the dark ages!. Thomas Paine and Jefferson has this right. We must fight this kind of ignorance before it blocks the light.

  214. #215 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better; and that is competition at work. – Walton

    Haw! Haw! Haw! Microsoft’s bloated, bug-ridden, insecure products have the position they do because Gates has been a very successful monopolist – “bundling” prodcuts together, undermining compatibility between products from different sources, buying up the competition, etc. Microsoft is a plain counterexample to your thesis about where exploitative quasi-monopolies arise. Food supply is moving in the same direction.

    Once you give government the power to intervene in the economy, and to work for or against the interests of particular economic groups, then various groups will lobby to get policies which act in their interest – even where this runs contrary to the public interest. And this is the root of the problem; this is what produces the corporatist state. Adam Smith explained so long ago, all traders would like to be monopolists; and if they have a chance to influence the political process, then it will inevitably be influenced in favour of the few against the interests of the many, simply because the few have more at stake. So the only answer is to limit government so much, and to have so little intervention in the market, that corporations cannot use the power of the state for self-aggrandisement.

    Libertarianism is not perfect. It does not purport to be. We don’t claim that free markets produce the perfect result, since that is both logically and empirically untrue. Nor do we subscribe to the ludicrous Randian view of capitalists as noble heroes, or pretend that what’s good for business is always good for society. Rather, we claim that government intervention produces worse results, and therefore that it should be kept to a minimum. – Walton

    Walton, I sincerely congratualte you. This is the nearest thing to a rational statement of “libertarianism” as I’ve seen on this blog. It actually suggests (although it does not itself identify) empirical ways we might examine the claims of “libertarianism”. The problem discussed by David Friedman – that self-interested minorities will try to influence government – is real, but that is hardly a novel insight, nor suffiicent grounds for concluding that:
    “the only answer is to limit government so much, and to have so little intervention in the market, that corporations cannot use the power of the state for self-aggrandisement.”
    1) You have not shown that something is “the only answer” until you have made an honest and thorough search for alternatives. There are ways to design democratic institutions that take account of such problems; and new technologies are making a greater range of possibilities available all the time.
    2) You have not shown that something is “the only answer” until you have shown that it is an answer at all. You assume that if government is weakened, corporations will not be able to use the power of the state, or call on alternative armed goon squads. Walton, go and learn about United Fruit.

    As you say in this thread, the interests of big corporations have little to do with “free markets”. But your “free market” utopia has never existed. Capitalism got going in western Europe as common land was privatized, using the force of the state; and imperialist expansion – the external application of state force – made possible the triangular trade in slaves, silver and raw materials, and manufactured goods. Violence and fraud, as well as tariffs, taxes and regulations, are historically as much a part of capitalism as market forces; and all the goods made available by capitalism (as well as all the evils) cannot be attributed to “free markets”, because no such things have ever existed. If you want to convince people of “libertarianism”, you have to show that it would work, and be better than the alternatives, since no such society has ever existed – that is, you’re in the same position as anyone advocating fundamental change in current socio-economic patterns.

    Your assertion that government intervention will reliably make things worse can be examined empirically. The honest investigator of such a contention would look both for general trends, and for specific counter-examples. The latter are easy: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands: places with a long history of interventionist government, which are – whether they would be your ideal or not – very good places to live, in comparison to most places now and in the past. Personally, I’d prefer the socio-economic arrangements in any of those countries to those in the UK, and those in the UK to the US; and figures for life expectancy and infant mortality are on my side. Again, as I’ve noted before, the current very dangerous financial crisis comes after three decades in which the state has retreated in areas to do with controlling economic activity – privatization has occurred on a vast scale. The attempts to blame the crisis on Clinton’s changes to the CRA are absurd: it is global in scale and most key participants are remote from actual mortgage decision-lending; the vast and opaque international derivatives markets are responsible for banks not knowing each others’ solvency and hence being unwilling to lend. Globalisation – the diminishing of trade barriers, and more particularly, barriers to capital flow, are responsible for the global scope of the crisis. As negentropyeater says, there is every reason to think “libertarian” nostrums, if implemented, would lead to immense instability and subsequent collapse into corporatism – or perhaps, big private corporations becoming military powers in their own right.

  215. #216 Stellare
    October 25, 2008

    Anyone with just a superficial and faint knowledge of science knows how to appreciate the fruit flies!

    This kind of ignorance should be forbidden by law. Shame on her!

  216. #217 Irene Delse
    October 25, 2008

    “You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.”

    I wonder what’s more offensive. The blatant ignorance about science this is displaying, or the dismissal of the contribution to research by another developed, industrial country. One the USA claims to be allied with, these days…

    Oh, right. I forgot: the Institut Pasteur is famous for its vaccines, and Ms Palin panders to the anti-vaccine crowd! And to compound our sin, our own sorry excuse for a president, Sarkozy, is praising Obama at every opportunity. Putting his foot in his mouth once again, as he’s wont to. He still hasn’t realized they are on opposite political sides — and anyway, it’s not his place to give advice to American on who they should vote. No wonder the French-bashers are having a field day.

  217. #218 Blue Girl
    October 25, 2008

    My husband just summed her up perfectly…This idiot not only doesn’t know anything – she doesn’t even suspect anything.

  218. #219 SC
    October 25, 2008

    What a twit you are, Jake.

    First, even if I were being “over sensitive” or “politically correct,” which isn’t the case, that wouldn’t be the same as being an “obvious troll.” If you’d been lurking here for any time at all, you would know that I’m nothing of the sort. Second, “a comic is well within accepted convention to use bitch/bastard dickhead/slapper…”? Calling a woman a dumb cunt or stupid bitch may be within accepted convention in your entirely-desensitized world, but a) it’s not in mine, b) visiting this blog is not the same as choosing to see a comedian, and c) (btw) bastard is not the male equivalent of bitch.

    I don’t know why, it’s just different.

    No, it isn’t. It’s within social convention in some places to use racial or ethnic slurs. It’s the same thing.

    The “female race”? WTF?

    Back to lurking for me.

    Please. And try to read more attentively this time around.

  219. #220 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Walton,
    I may have missed something, but I didn’t see anyone equating “libertarianism” with fascism – rather, negentropyeater was claiming that those following the ideology of “libertarianism” promote, even if they do not intend, the transformation of the USA into a “theocratic, corporatist state” – which he further equated with (an American form of) fascism.

  220. #221 S. Andrew
    October 25, 2008

    Bring back Dan Quayle. Palin is the complete expression of an incomplete intelligence.

  221. #222 shonny
    October 25, 2008

    Wow, Cuttlefish… internal rhyme scheme, alliteration… your amp obviously goes OVER eleven. I imagine you’d be able to beat Egil Skallagrimsson in an extemporaneous poetry contest!

    Nope, Cuttlefish is handicapped because he’s doing it in English, whereas old Eigil had the terse, intense Old Norse as tool for his often cutting kvad.
    Gunnlaug Ormstunge was another even more sarcastic skald.Try this one:

    I hirden går én,
    som er bare til mén.
    Tro ham vârt,
    han er ond og svart.

    – Could have been about Palin with very few modifications!

  222. #223 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Walton, descend upon this thread and defend McPain/Failin’. I dare you.

    ——————————————-

    But, but, if humans are related to fruit flies, then why shouldn’t we respect them somehow as our relatives – and stop cutting them up to find out things about ourselves?

    Seriously, this is a question asked by PETA, and other organizations far above my head.

    Plants, too, are our relatives. And so are bacteria. The evidence for common ancestry of Life As We Know It is overwhelming. You can’t escape our family tree.

    Yeah, I know this is stupid. But is it? Damn, I need to stop thinking so much.

    Nonsense. Keep thinking, and keep reading. Keep learning.

    cephalopods, which are even more distant from us than flies.

    No, that distance is exactly equal, because cephalo- and arthropods are more closely related to each other (Protostomia) than to us (Deuterostomia).

    i don’t doubt that this project has [i]some[/i] merit. that so many here insist that a $748,000 earmark is beyond criticism on the basis of this ludicrous autims argument, and/or because ‘sarah palin is STOOPID!!!’ is pretty sad, though.

    An investment of 748 kilobucks for a return of 60 megabucks is still beyond criticism, however. No matter how many people here got the wrong reflex when they saw “fruit fly” (which, see comments 126 and 137, had to be expected from Mooseolini’s wording), Embarracuda is still too stupid for office, there’s no way around it.

    it’s farming research being paid for by your tax dollars to help the private olive farming industry.

    …and thus the tax revenue. Given the budget deficit created by Fearless Flightsuit, you’re going to need that.

    I caught part of her speech on CNN. The contradictions are astounding — she wants more research into disabilities, but less money spent on science. Are her speech writers really that stupid?

    Or maybe she’s too stupid to understand that she needs a speechwriter?

    That said, there are stupid speechwriters out there. Like Ben Stein, who famously wrote speeches for Nixon.

  223. #224 S. Andrew
    October 25, 2008

    Bring back Dan Quayle. Palin is the complete expression of an incomplete intelligence.

  224. #225 CalGeorge
    October 25, 2008

    If John McCain is not elected president, which one of the following three possible candidates would you be most likely to support for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012?

    Mitt Romney 35%
    Mike Huckabee 26%
    Sarah Palin 20%

    She’ll be back!

    http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/10/poll_palin_hasnt_done_herself.php

  225. #226 SC
    October 25, 2008

    slapper?

    New one for me, too.

    OT, SC, could you give us an update on MAJeff, or ask him to drop by for a couple of posts?

    He’s just fine – working hard. I did send him a link to the “Our Queer Future” thread yesterday, and I’ve told him how much he’s missed here. He sends everyone his regards. I’ll let him know you were asking after him.

  226. #227 Jeeves
    October 25, 2008

    Several people on this thread are up in arms over the proper names to call this woman. To call her a “stupid bitch” is to be offensive towards women and an obscenity to boot. Well, I think the name “Sarah Palin” is the biggest curse word I have heard yet. Everytime I hear her name, I look around to make sure there are no children in the room, lest they be scandalized by the words. Imagine a world where people weren’t constantly saying “Sarah Palin”. I know its hard but we’re so close to banish this lingualistic abomination for at least another four years. But for now, can we come up with another word for this woman, some innocuous word, so that my gag reflex doesn’t need to suppressed ten times a day. “Sarah Palin”, disgusting…just remember what your mothers all told you, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

  227. #228 donna
    October 25, 2008

    You are NYT’ed, PZ!

    Awesome!

    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.
    Palin’s family flies at taxpayer expense!

  228. #229 Maerk
    October 25, 2008

    I can’t listen to losers like this. Palin, Bush, McCain and all those other losers are torture to listen to. The only guy I respect is Ron Paul who makes the most sense.

  229. #230 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    The only guy I respect is Ron Paul who makes the most sense.

    and cue SfO…

  230. #231 JOHN
    October 25, 2008

    SO, WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS, ANY CHRISTIAN THAT BELIEVES IN THE END TIMES IS IGNORANT. Wow. It is your choice not to be a believer in Christ, but name calling and condesension is quite another thing. Do you ridicule all religions as well?

  231. #232 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    SO, WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS, ANY CHRISTIAN THAT BELIEVES IN THE END TIMES IS IGNORANT. Wow. It is your choice not to be a believer in Christ, but name calling and condesension is quite another thing. Do you ridicule all religions as well?

    No what we are saying is any person who CHOOSES to be christian has to stop thinking rationally to believe.

    I wouldn’t call it ignorance as much as delusion.

  232. #233 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    John, this is an atheist blog, so we make fun of god and religions–all religions. Some sects are more insane than others, so they get the loudest treatment.

    If you don’t want to see religion and gods mocked, go elsewhere.

  233. #234 bric
    October 25, 2008

    It occurs to me that maybe her speech writers got pissed off when they heard her make-up artist gets paid more than them, and just gave her a little nudge.

  234. #235 MH
    October 25, 2008

    Walton stated “Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better”

    ROFLMAO

  235. #236 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better

    And britney spears is so popular because her music is so good.

  236. #237 Josh
    October 25, 2008

    Urgh, she disgusts me.

  237. #238 Steve LaBonne
    October 25, 2008

    John Cole of the “Balloon Juice” blog- who refers to PZ’s post- puts it all in prespective:

    This is the type of ignorant Christian Nationalism, where hillbilly gut instincts and religious edicts trump knowledge and reason, that corrupt Republicanism has devolved into. This is what is meant to be “conservative” these days. It has nothing to do with the conservatism of years past, and everything to do with nativism (notice how Paris, France was included in the mocking- those god damned furriners!), reflexive hatred of the other, suspicion and derision towards those who know something, and cronyism. This woman embodies everything that is wrong with the current Republican party; there is a reason the know-nothings embrace her.

    The only thing missing from the speech the bumbling and ignorant fool delivered yesterday was an attack on Michael J. Fox and stem cell research. Or maybe she could have attacked Arlen Specter as being a baby killer for embracing stem-cell research. That would have served as a poignant wingnut tribute to her predecessors.

    These people must be absolutely destroyed on November 4th. It is a national imperative. This is more important than anything that happens in Iraq and Afghanistan. And why is it that the people who claim to adhere to the culture of life are so filled with hate for… people?

    Yup.

  238. #239 Kausik Datta
    October 25, 2008

    Can you expect any kind of reason and sympathy towards science from a woman who is this bat-shit crazy and a supporter of crazies?
    Consider, for example, “… What is known, however, is that Ms. Palin has had long associations with religious leaders who practice a particularly assertive and urgent brand of Pentecostalism known as “spiritual warfare.” Its adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that “spiritual warriors” must “battle” them to assert God’s control, using prayer and evangelism…”

    And “…Bishop Thomas Muthee, the Kenyan preacher shown on the YouTube video anointing her as she ran for governor, is celebrated internationally as an effective spiritual warrior who led a prayer movement that drove a witch out of his town in Kenya. The removal of the witch, Bishop Muthee says, resulted in a drop in crime, alcoholism and traffic accidents.”

    Holy shit!!

  239. #240 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    Walton stated “Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better”

    Hmmm….
    Most of power users I know use Mac OSX or Linux. I don’t know where some people get their ideas.

  240. #241 SC
    October 25, 2008

    Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better

    And every day they’re opening up new vistas of technological innovation…

  241. #242 cb664
    October 25, 2008

    PZ Myers it is you who is an IDIOT, a MORON and ignorant not Sarah Palin. You are a professor at Minnesota University, Morris, you should be washinmg toilets instead of professor of a prestigious school. You cannot even qualify to be a GARBAGE collector, you IDIOT.

  242. #243 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    PZ Myers it is you who is an IDIOT, a MORON and ignorant not Sarah Palin. You are a professor at Minnesota University, Morris, you should be washinmg toilets instead of professor of a prestigious school. You cannot even qualify to be a GARBAGE collector, you IDIOT.

    Stunning argument. Your parents must be proud.

  243. #244 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    Nick Gotts @#215

    One thing that has always struck me about American wingnut comments on Scandinavia is that they always seem to take the wrong message from Scandinavian social democracy. Typically, you see comments like “Socialism is a complete failure, if Sweden were a US state, it’d be as poor as Alabama”, where they seem to have taken the metric of success and failure to be measured in income per-capita. The alternative is to see that even somewhere as poor as Alabama could have world-leading healthcare and education if they de-emphasised individual income somewhat.

    Another interesting thing (as a foreigner living in Sweden) is that Swedish society is quite “conformist” in a lot of ways. Modesty and moderation are valued, rather than acquisitionism and ostentatiousness. By coincidence, both in Ireland and Sweden, I lived very close to the nobbiest golf club in town. In Ireland, the car-park is full of new top-end Mercedes, BMWs, Porsches, etc., and in Sweden, it’s full of ordinary mid-range Volvos and Volkswagens. I often wonder whether the high social value placed on being “an ordinary person” here contributes to a sense of solidarity that enables the social model, rather than highly valuing individual acquisition of wealth, as seems to be the case in the US where the political emphasis is always on lower personal taxes.

  244. #245 AnonCoward23
    October 25, 2008

    RANDOM capitalization MAKES me COOL!

  245. #246 Dale Husband
    October 25, 2008

    As far as I’m concerned, Sen. McCain threw away the election the moment he chose Palin as his running mate. The more she talks, the most damage she does to his chances to win. I think after this year even most Alaskans will be sick of her and want her out of office.

  246. #247 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    cb664, I see something with less intelligence than Ms Palin just showed up. If you want we could have Ms Palin and PZ take IQ tests and see comes out better. I have no doubt as to the results.

  247. #248 FilthyHarry
    October 25, 2008

    You misunderstand. The two ideas are not in conflict. As a deeply retarded religious person she doesn’t want prevent disabilities or cure disabilities because they represent god’s will. She just wants support for children with disabilities. You know, like crutches.

  248. #249 Elmer
    October 25, 2008

    Doctor Werner Von Braun, possibly one of the world’s most renown scientists stated,”The more I study science, the more I am convinced there is a higher order.” Case Closed
    To illustrate the mentality of many of your bloggers, it was long ago established by the educational community, that the only reason so many people use four letter words is, because they are not intelligent enough build a coherent sentence without them.

  249. #250 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    I hope cb664 stays around. I’m hungover and that makes me grumpy and itching for an argument.

  250. #251 Peg
    October 25, 2008

    God bless you all and have mercy on me.

  251. #252 Tom
    October 25, 2008

    Don’t be so hard on Sarah Palin. The language some people use to address a woman, any woman, is just revealing their own rotten, unrefined character. With the fruit flies she was obviously, if awkwardly, making comparison to something akin to the “William Proxmire Golden Fleece Awards” for ridiculous sounding expenditures. There have been in the past studies called something like “the Sexual Mores of the Hairy-Nostriled Bat” that lay people will never understand as anything other than a gift to full employment for scientists, from the US taxpayers. That, I am confident, was her intention but many of you only reveal your own boorishness and why I’d never vote for whoever your candidate is. Mine was Ron Paul, now all I know is, it is NOT Barack “Under his Wing” Obama.

  252. #253 jeff armstrong
    October 25, 2008

    Palin pretty much lives up to every stereotypical view that a vast amount of the World has of the U.S. How this person could be running for VP is astonishing. The republican party clearly does not think very much of the intelligence of U.S citizens and when the rest of the world hears the Palinesque campaigning that excretes from potential American Leadership we have to wonder oursleves. Democrates should be responsible for Palins wardrobe bills and campaign costs. I know the casts of Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show will be unanamous in thier voting. For them, could it possibly get any better then this.

  253. #254 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Doctor Werner Von Braun, possibly one of the world’s most renown scientists stated,”The more I study science, the more I am convinced there is a higher order.” Case Closed

    Dumbest comment this morning.

  254. #255 George Smiley
    October 25, 2008

    She’s just pissed off that Eric Weischaus (who won the 1995 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on fruit flies) has, like most other US winners of Nobel prizes in science, endorsed Obama.

    Oh, wait. She hasn’t got a clue who won *any* Nobel Prize in Medicine, ever. Idiot.

  255. #257 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    God bless you all and have mercy on me.

    We have a runner up.

    Peg, do tell why you felt the need to make that comment.

  256. #258 Dave Godfrey
    October 25, 2008

    While one could critique the merits of this particular project having an understanding of the animal’s ecology could be pretty important.

    What happens if the animal evolves and changes host? (Oh sorry, evolution doesn’t happen in Palin’s universe).

    The California industry may only be worth $60m in 2006, but there are plans to develop the industry in Texas, and California hopes to be producing 20 million gallons a year by 2020. If you don’t do the research on the fly now that may not happen.

    Extra Virgin Maggotty Oil

  257. #259 raven
    October 25, 2008

    Mitt Romney 35%
    Mike Huckabee 26%
    Sarah Palin 20%

    Maybe not. The GOP is imploding at this very moment. Many of the leaders and intelligensia have publicly announced they are voting for Obama. Most cite Palin as the reason. These members are putting the good of the country and their own self interest (who wants to live in a banana republic?) ahead of the party.

    The GOP is a frankenstein monster made up of normal people, old line conservatives in the Buckly/Goldwater tradition and many well educated advisors and leaders.

    They were just using the christofascists for votes. Then the cultists took over the party.

    The normal people are fighting back. Look for a power struggle after the election. If the death cults win, the Theothuglican party will end up a minor party forever.

  258. #260 woody
    October 25, 2008

    “Doctor Werner Von Braun, possibly one of the world’s most renown scientists stated,”The more I study science, the more I am convinced there is a higher order.” Case Closed.

    “Case Closed?” Really? On the single assertion of a Nazi murderer? I love how you guys think.

    By the way: Time flie like an arrow; fruit flies like a tomato.

  259. #261 George Smiley
    October 25, 2008

    “Tom” @252 — you are a fool.

  260. #262 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    Doctor Werner Von Braun, possibly one of the world’s most renown scientists stated,”The more I study science, the more I am convinced there is a higher order.” Case Closed

    Every scientist is not 100% rational. We forgive Dr. Von Braun for his lack of rationality.
    So the case is not closed.

  261. #263 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    That, I am confident, was her intention but many of you only reveal your own boorishness and why I’d never vote for whoever your candidate is. Mine was Ron Paul, now all I know is, it is NOT Barack “Under his Wing” Obama.

    yawn

  262. #264 no-doz
    October 25, 2008

    Let’s just call them Freedom Flies.

  263. #265 Andre
    October 25, 2008

    What a stupid woman. Might as well elect Paris Hilton….

  264. #266 woody
    October 25, 2008

    The Palins?

    Two words: “parvenus” and “grifters.”

    They’re not smart enough to know that their small-time grifts are gonna be spotted right away by their new social class. You have to have a lifetime of training to steal subtly, and ‘subtlety’ is nowhere in the vocabulary of any of them.

  265. #267 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Let’s just call them Freedom Flies.

    whew

    thankfully I wasn’t drinking my coffee at that moment

  266. #268 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    Nick Gotts at #215:

    If you want to convince people of “libertarianism”, you have to show that it would work, and be better than the alternatives, since no such society has ever existed – that is, you’re in the same position as anyone advocating fundamental change in current socio-economic patterns.

    Not quite true. There have been two societies in history, and only two, which have unilaterally dismantled their trade tariffs and protectionist arrangements (as opposed to doing so via bilateral agreements) and allowed complete free trade. These are, of course, early nineteenth-century Britain and late twentieth-century Hong Kong. And, not surprisingly, both were huge economic success stories. (I am not claiming that either society was in any way perfect; so please don’t go into a list of the social problems which persisted in both societies.) The practice of unilateral free trade, abandoning all tariffs and subsidies immediately, is of massive proven economic benefit; virtually all economists recognise that free trade is superior. So libertarianism has been tried, and it has worked. The problem is, it will never again happen in any major nation because of the influence of special interests – which, contrary to your assertion, occurs regardless of what kind of political institutions a country uses.

    I want to explore that latter point further, in fact. You say “There are ways to design democratic institutions that take account of such problems.” I profoundly disagree – because the problems are inherent in democracy itself. Like I said, with an issue such as farm subsidies, the few who benefit from the subsidies have a strong incentive to vote and campaign so as to retain the subsidies; it’s in their rational self-interest to do so. In contrast, the great mass of taxpaying voters don’t have an incentive to vote to get rid of farm subsidies; the subsidies cost them very little in direct terms (I believe farm subsidies cost the average UK taxpayer around £1 a year), and they simply aren’t aware of the indirect costs (such as distorted prices and impoverishment of the Third World). So democratic control of economic policy will always suffer from this problem; the popular vote is even worse, when it comes to taking account of externalities, than the free market. It isn’t just down to the influence of lobbyists, or of “money being able to buy elections”. No political reform can ameliorate the problem. It’s inherent in democratic decision-making, simply because the few are better-organised, and have more at stake, than the many. So we can see that, while there is such a thing as market failure, it applies to democratic decision-making equally as much as it applies to free markets.

    And, of course, any other form of government – dictatorship or oligarchy – suffers from the same problem, since the ruling class will also have economic interests and will act politically in accordance with those interests. And even if we were to find a perfect benevolent dictator who never acted in his own self-interest, he still couldn’t control the economy more efficiently than the market can, since it is simply impossible to replicate the price mechanism and the laws of supply and demand in a controlled command economy.

    Like it or not, there are only three options with any given market, industry or area of economic productivity: (1) a free market; (2) governmental control of some sort; or (3) a combination of the two (such as a regulated market). I am asserting that all of these will, in some cases, lead to undesirable results, due to the problems of externalities and public goods, and the fact that people’s individual self-interests do not always tally with the collective interest. So I am not denying that market failure exists; but while market failure leads to bad consequences, government failure leads to worse consequences, and therefore free market control is the lesser of two evils.

  267. #269 MH
    October 25, 2008

    Nerd #240 wrote “Hmmm…. Most of power users I know use Mac OSX or Linux.”

    That’s my experience too.

    Also, I find it interesting that Liberal computer geeks seem to favour Unix-like operating systems, while their Conservative counterparts seem to favour Microsoft products.

    Something to do with authoritarianism, perhaps?

  268. #270 amk
    October 25, 2008

    To illustrate the mentality of many of your bloggers, it was long ago established by the educational community, that the only reason so many people use four letter words is, because they are not intelligent enough build a coherent sentence without them.

    Your grammar fucking sucks, moron.

  269. #271 Dutton Peabody
    October 25, 2008

    Her remarks about fruit fly research point back to McCain’s crack about the 3 million dollar earmark for bear DNA research. Which to the “base” we hear so much about would at first blush seem very wasteful indeed. But if you’re one of the common folk they court so much, you probably don’t know what a miracle a hibernating bear is.

    When the bear goes to sleep, he doesn’t consume any water for the whole time in hibernation. That means he has to recycle his water in a way doesn’t have a build up of waste in his blood stream. Knowing how the bear does that has great implications for kidney research.

    I won’t list the other things the bear has to teach us, insomnia research comes to mind right now.

    Anyway those answers are stored in the bear DNA. And studying that is what his base thinks is wasteful, and he thinks is funny.

  270. #272 Susan
    October 25, 2008

    What Tristero said.

    Thank you SC. Greasemonkey’s Killfile has gotten a workout for me, lately. And Emmet Caulfield at #161: Word. It really is a useful filter.

  271. #273 Tom
    October 25, 2008

    “George Smily” @#262.

    A fool says in himself that there’s no God. That’s not me, but I am betting it is you.

  272. #274 woody
    October 25, 2008

    “Which to the “base” we hear so much about would at first blush seem very wasteful indeed.”

    That’s because what ails the “base” cannot be fixed retroactively. THe only ways to repair the damages these fools suffer from is in utero–or mebbe ‘ex utero,’ as in abortion.

  273. #275 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    I won’t list the other things the bear has to teach us, insomnia research comes to mind right now.

    One being how yummy the contents of a pick-a-nic basket are

  274. #276 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    Most of power users I know use Mac OSX or Linux. I don’t know where some people get their ideas.

    I’m an inveterate geek who owns ~15 computers (some of them now quite old: I hang on to them for curiosity) with 5 different processors (SPARC, Cell, x86, G4, Rxx000) and 6 OSes (Solaris, Linux, FreeBSD, Irix, OS-X, and Windows). Right now, I’m writing high-performance scientific simulation software. I guess that makes me a “power user”. There are a few things for which I’ve no choice but to use Windows, but as a matter of personal preference, I’d rather stick forks in my eyes than use it.

  275. #277 Ian Holmes
    October 25, 2008

    Guess I’d better give my R01 back (it combines fruitflies AND evolution) and CalTech, Princeton and Columbia will have to return their Nobels. The good news is that shutting down Drosophila research will save nearly as much as McCain’s government freeze. This girl is priceless.

  276. #278 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    A fool says in himself that there’s no God. That’s not me, but I am betting it is you.

    Oh goody. Quote us some more scripture to circularly support your claims.

    Yay!

  277. #279 chuckbert
    October 25, 2008

    SC: ‘bullshit’ is clearly gender-specific.
    I think you meant ‘cowshit’ or maybe ‘cattleshit’.

  278. #280 oldtree
    October 25, 2008

    Where are the “scientists” on the gop side of reality? non existent?

  279. #281 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    A fool says in himself that there’s no God. That’s not me, but I am betting it is you.

    No, I say there is no god until the unrefuted physical evidence for one is shown. At the moment, there is no evidence for your alleged god. So if you have the physical evidence for, please present it so we can refute it.

  280. #282 Don
    October 25, 2008

    I’ve heard that, actuarially, in the event of a McCain win there is a one in three chance of this person becoming President of the United States. Does anyone know if that is true?

    I’m British, so there’s nothing I can do about that, but I have a spare room and I’m sure the village hall could fit in a few camp-beds…

  281. #283 raven
    October 25, 2008

    “Doctor Werner Von Braun, possibly one of the world’s most renown scientists stated,”The more I study science, the more I am convinced there is a higher order.” Case Closed.

    “Case Closed?” Really? On the single assertion of a Nazi murderer? I love how you guys think.

    Von Braun used slave laborers, mostly Jewish to run his rocket program. They worked them until they died and then stacked the bodies up. When the allies overran his facility, they literally found piles of bodies everywhere.

    If he wasn’t so valuable to the USA, he would have been tried at Nirenberg as a war criminal and hung.

    Why don’t you quote Martin Luther instead. A rabid antisemite and all around kook who hated women.

  282. #284 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    I’ve heard that, actuarially, in the event of a McCain win there is a one in three chance of this person becoming President of the United States. Does anyone know if that is true?

    Well that is based on the chance of McCain buying the farm before his 4 years are up.

    Pure speculation with a little tip of the hat to his age.

  283. #285 woody
    October 25, 2008

    SC: ‘bullshit’ is clearly gender-specific.
    I think you meant ‘cowshit’ or maybe ‘cattleshit’.

    Ungulate shit is pretty harmless, and very useful. We needn’t malign horses or cows, or deer, or elk or bison for that matter.

    “Shit” itself ain’t so bad. Because of our diets, “Human shit,” however, IS pretty noxious, so I nominate “Human Shit” as the preferred term of obloquy…

  284. #286 SeanH
    October 25, 2008

    The real problem here, PZ, is that there is not a single person in he U.S., including myself, (and I believe in what you are doing and saying here, hands down :) would ever understand what the term “mutagenize” means. Or even care.

    Just wanted to disagree with Bob quick and offer a bit of a defense of the US. I’m an programmer who never took a biology class beyond BIO-101 about ten years ago. I know what “mutagenize” means, care deeply, and was appalled when I heard Palin had derided fruit-fly research. We may be a dying breed, but there are still millions of enthusiastic, science-literate non-scientists here.

    Heck, I can’t see how anyone could not be interested in studies with induced mutations and chopped up fly brains. High-school biology teachers should be telling students about them to spur interest in science.

  285. #287 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    God bless you all

    And a hearty “fuck you” to you too.

  286. #288 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Rather, we claim that government intervention produces worse results, and therefore that it should be kept to a minimum.

    The example you give shows that it can give just as bad results — but does it really regularly produce worse results, as you claim? You’ll have to back that up.

    (It goes without saying that I’m not talking about a communist economy here.)

    Psssst. Wanna steal an election?

    Ah. How reassuring. I was beginning to think that all those reports about Diebold Premier Election Whatever, ES&S, and Triad Systems were unfair. How nice to see that Sequoia is just as dangerous.

    What a scary article. It needs way more publicity.

    Vote in ink on paper and count the ballots by hand in the polling station. Anything else opens the possibility of Grand Theft Election.

    The only reason why it didn’t happen under Bush

    Well, that’s not entirely clear. What would you call a constitutional democracy where elections are regularly stolen…?

    As long as there is a free market, they can always be undercut by someone offering better value to the consumer.

    Unless that someone understands that joining the cartel is a better guarantee for income than competing with the cartel is. And that happens all the time; it’s in the news every few months where I come from.

    Microsoft is ubiquitous among most computer users because its products are better; and that is competition at work.

    For the sake of the argument, let’s simply grant this point (never mind comments 201 and 210).

    The argument is that here we see that competition can lead to the extinction of competitors and to a monopoly. Here we see, as I keep saying, that constant competition is an artificial state that must be artificially kept alive by constant state intervention.

    How many times must Microsoft lose in court, and be convicted of abusing federal antitrust statutes?

    Not just US ones, but also EU ones. Again and again.

    And to compound our sin, our own sorry excuse for a president, Sarkozy, is praising Obama at every opportunity. Putting his foot in his mouth once again, as he’s wont to. He still hasn’t realized they are on opposite political sides –

    They aren’t.

    Obama, like Kerry and both Clintons, would fit fine into any of Europe’s conservative parties. Bush and McSame are off the map.

    Gunnlaug Ormstunge was another even more sarcastic skald. Try this one:

    Translation, please?

  287. #289 raven
    October 25, 2008

    Mitt Romney 35% Mike Huckabee 26% Sarah Palin 20%

    The percentage of the US population who thinks Palin is sane and an effective leader is the same as the percentage who thinks the sun orbits the earth.

    Not a coincidence for sure. There is almost certainly a significant overlap between the two groups.

    Twenty percent of the USA population will believe in anything or anyone, no matter how stupid it or they are. What happens when 50% of the population has an IQ of less than 100. Her support base must be loaded with high school flunkouts with IQs in the 80s.

  288. #290 woody
    October 25, 2008

    Heck, I can’t see how anyone could not be interested in studies with induced mutations and chopped up fly brains. High-school biology teachers should be telling students about them to spur interest in science.

    I think we could stimulate a LOT of interest in “science” if we vivisected Palin and video-taped it…

  289. #291 Amitola
    October 25, 2008

    Elmer: Werner’s reference to a “higher order” doesn’t necessarily reflect his belief in your god or any god – just that there “is a higher order” – some things in science we do not yet understand.

    Miss Sarah obviously missed Biology 101 when she was jumping from college to college. If she knew anything about biology, or any science for that matter, she would know how important fruit flies have been in the development of our understanding of genetics – and provided the very basis of the information that she was provided when she had her fetus tested in utero for Downs Syndrome.

    I remember studying genetics in college biology (way back in the 60’s), and fruit flies in particular, all about how crossing of the (P)arental generations and (F)ilial generations elicited a lot of information regarding how genes were passed on.

    Here’s a little biology humor. The time came for the mid-term exam and I was still a little confused (mainly from not studying). One exam question went like this: What term is used to describe the result of crossing the P1 generation with the F1 generation? Not remembering the correct answer was F2, I wrote in INSEST. The prof gave me credit for creativity…..

  290. #292 nabalzbbfr
    October 25, 2008

    Autism is, in the vast majority of cases, a fraud and a racket. It is a product of utterly misguided permissive parenting, which turns perfectly normal kids into dysfunctional antisocial brats. The problem is parents have been getting their advice from idiotic child-rearing books like Spock’s, instead of the Holy Bible: spare the rod and spoil the child. Scientific research on genetic causes of autism is a colossal waste of time and money, whether or not it involves fruit flies in Paris or elsewhere.

  291. #293 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Autism is, in the vast majority of cases, a fraud and a racket. It is a product of utterly misguided permissive parenting, which turns perfectly normal kids into dysfunctional antisocial brats. The problem is parents have been getting their advice from idiotic child-rearing books like Spock’s, instead of the Holy Bible: spare the rod and spoil the child. Scientific research on genetic causes of autism is a colossal waste of time and money, whether or not it involves fruit flies in Paris or elsewhere.

    Dear sir or madam,

    You are a gigantic fucking idiot.

  292. #294 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    #273, #278, #281: Is it necessary to have that same circular debate again?

    No, we all know there is no empirical evidence for the existence of a God, nor is there ever likely to be. The only position reachable through empiricism and reason alone is agnosticism. As I understand it (being neither a scientist nor a theologian), science, which by definition deals with the material realm, cannot tell us whether there is a supernatural realm.

    The question of theism vs atheism is, therefore, purely speculative. It all depends which side you place the burden of proof; neither theists nor atheists can possibly prove their claims. If, therefore, you start from the standpoint that there is no god, and place the onus of proof on those who claim there is a god to validate their claims via empirical evidence, then clearly they cannot do so – and there is no point in arguing it.

    Can we not just live and let live? Empirical evidence and reasoning cannot take anyone beyond the point of agnosticism. Some people are motivated to believe by religious experiences, but these are inevitably far too personal and subjective to be any use as evidence. So why not just accept that some people, faced with a lack of evidence either way, will choose to follow a religious faith, and others will choose not to do so? Is it necessary to keep discussing it?

    To my mind, the issue is only ever worth discussing when one person tries to impose the teachings of his faith on another via the agency of the state. In a libertarian society, the state would not have such power, so it would be a total non-issue.

  293. #295 raven
    October 25, 2008

    I think we could stimulate a LOT of interest in “science” if we vivisected Palin and video-taped it…

    No way. The trend in high school science is nonlethal studies.

    Simply run Palin and a few rats and mice through a maze. The rodents would learn the maze faster and better for sure.

  294. #296 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    The question of theism vs atheism is, therefore, purely speculative. It all depends which side you place the burden of proof; neither theists nor atheists can possibly prove their claims.

    Do you require people to prove there is no tooth fairy?

  295. #297 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    nabalzbbfr@292 is a dangerously stupid fucktard who, apparently, believes that a book of bronze-age fables has some effect on mirror neurons.

  296. #298 amphiox
    October 25, 2008

    To call that woman ignorant is to insult every three year old child on this planet.

    Ignorance is just a state of being of varying duration, to which social judgment should not be attached.

    Willful ignorance is the more problematic, but Palin isn’t even that, since this is a passive condition.

    What she is doing is active reality denial, and of course that means she isn’t stupid either, since this is a process that requires considerable mental effort to maintain in the face of continuous contradictory sensory input.

    A more pathetic waste of neurons, neurotransmitters and Na/K ATPase I have not been privileged to see.

    As for Palin in 2012? That may be our best chance at eight years of Democrats in the White House.

    “Pray” for it, my friends, “pray” for it.

  297. #299 amk
    October 25, 2008

    No, we all know there is no empirical evidence for the existence of a God, nor is there ever likely to be. The only position reachable through empiricism and reason alone is agnosticism.

    You are aware that there are many religions? That the debate is not just atheism v Abrahamic religion? That there is no more reason to believe in Yahweh than in Odin? Do you take belief in Odin seriously?

    As I understand it (being neither a scientist nor a theologian), science, which by definition deals with the material realm, cannot tell us whether there is a supernatural realm. If a supernatural realm effects the material realm – and all religions claim it does – that it can be investigated scientifically.

    A supernatural realm that does not effect the material realm is not worth considering.

  298. #300 Anton Mates
    October 25, 2008

    Heddle,

    What she said is not so crazy. Scarce scientific research funds should be allocated on merit–based on peer review of competing proposals.

    So when Palin said “Fruit flies, France, hur hur hur,” she actually meant that we need a merit-based funding system mediated by peer review?

    I’m starting to think she gave an entirely different speech at the same time, in sign language, which discusses the virtues of peer review and the drawbacks of subsidizing the olive industry.

  299. #301 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    As for Palin in 2012? That may be our best chance at eight years of Democrats in the White House.

    Does anyone really think the GOP will allow that?

  300. #302 khan
    October 25, 2008
    Doctor Werner Von Braun, possibly one of the world’s most renown scientists stated,”The more I study science, the more I am convinced there is a higher order.” Case Closed

    Dumbest comment this morning

    With requisite misspelling.
    =========================
    “Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down
    That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun

  301. #303 amk
    October 25, 2008

    Broken formatting in #299. Let me try that again:

    As I understand it (being neither a scientist nor a theologian), science, which by definition deals with the material realm, cannot tell us whether there is a supernatural realm.

    If a supernatural realm effects the material realm – and all religions say that it does – then it can be investigated using the scientific method.

    A supernatural realm that does not effect the material realm is not worth considering.

  302. #304 amphiox
    October 25, 2008

    On “mutagenize”:

    If you grew up speaking the English language, and you either read the comics/watched to movie/were passingly familiar in a third had sort of way with X-men, then even if you had never heard it before, and had a seizure on the first day of kindergarten science class and never ventured forth into said realm ever again, you can guess was “mutagenize” shoud mean.

    And you’d be 80% correct. (So long as you maintain the assumption that the specific details found in comic books are fantasy)

  303. #305 Svetogorsk
    October 25, 2008

    Autism is, in the vast majority of cases, a fraud and a racket. It is a product of utterly misguided permissive parenting, which turns perfectly normal kids into dysfunctional antisocial brats.

    I have an autistic child, and there was nothing “misguidedly permissive” about his parenting whatsoever. In fact, if anything, his neurotypical younger sister has had a far more “permissive” upbringing, simply because my wife and I have our hands full trying to deal with her brother’s various problems, so she’s been left far more to her own devices.

    I would say more, but I think post 293 summed it up to perfection.

  304. #306 licnyc
    October 25, 2008

    the stupid…. IT BURNS! I seriously thought this was an onion story.

  305. #307 Jams
    October 25, 2008

    “I offer as proof the content of all previous Pharyngula posts and the comments on those posts” – me
    “You’ll have to be a bit (really, a lot) more specific.” – SC

    Rather than go through the entirety of Pharyngula counting sexist comments, how about this: in comments posted between and including Nov.1st and Nov.30th, you will note with a comment whenever someone makes a sexist comment against women, and I’ll note with a comment whenever someone makes a sexist comment against men, and we can all count them. The following will be our notation.

    #X@ [comment number]:[text]
    #Y@ [comment number]:[text]

    The former will refer to comments targeting women, and the later for men. Of course, I don’t agree that gendered cursing *is* sexist, but we’ll include those too. Perhaps we should track them separately.

    “I just skimmed through a number of comments on that thread. What gendered slurs are you referring to?” – SC

    1) “I’m amazed humans males didn’t evolve with giant antlers. The larger, the more dominant the male.”
    2) “I thought most men believe their penises are giant antlers.”
    3) etc.

    Perhaps if it had read “most women think their vaginas are credit cards” you would have noticed.

    ‘I think this is obvious to most from my earlier comments. “Shit,” “fuck,” “fucking,” and the like are swears. “Stupid bitch,” “dumb cunt,” and “stupid twat” are misogynistic slurs. Clear?’ – SC

    Classifying a bunch of curses into one category or another does nothing to “articulate the difference between swearing and misogynistic insults”. Maybe an example would help. Explain to me at what point the following sentence becomes a misogynistic slur (clearly, you seem to believe it is):

    “Oh man, I am such a stupid bitch.” – Jams

    The problem SC, is that you don’t understand what swearing even is. When someone says “stupid cunt” they aren’t denigrating female genitalia, or femininity, or whatever other gendered quality you think it’s targeting.

    Perhaps this might help. Why is it intolerable for you to hear people say “stupid cunt”, but it isn’t intolerable to hear people say “dumb fuck”? Do you think sexual intercourse is so much more worthy of disdain and scorn?

  306. #308 Don
    October 25, 2008

    nabalzbbfr @292,

    I work in the field of special needs, and autism in particular. I’m intrigued by your analysis, could you point me to studies that show beating the crap out of kids to be an effective approach to autism?

  307. #309 Jay Dub
    October 25, 2008

    They’re not french flies, they’re FREEDOM FLIES!

  308. #310 Dave Godfrey
    October 25, 2008

    Of course if the work had been done on the cheese-eating surrender monkey she’d have been all for it…

  309. #311 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 25, 2008

    the problems are inherent in democracy itself. Like I said, with an issue such as farm subsidies, the few who benefit from the subsidies have a strong incentive to vote and campaign so as to retain the subsidies; it’s in their rational self-interest to do so. In contrast, the great mass of taxpaying voters don’t have an incentive to vote to get rid of farm subsidies; the subsidies cost them very little in direct terms (I believe farm subsidies cost the average UK taxpayer around £1 a year), and they simply aren’t aware of the indirect costs (such as distorted prices and impoverishment of the Third World). So democratic control of economic policy will always suffer from this problem; the popular vote is even worse, when it comes to taking account of externalities, than the free market.

    All you have done here is demonstrated that democracy doesn’t work if the voters are ignorant. That’s neither news, nor is it an eternally inevitable state of affairs — education has already been invented. :-|

    So I am not denying that market failure exists; but while market failure leads to bad consequences, government failure leads to worse consequences, and therefore free market control is the lesser of two evils.

    You still haven’t demonstrated the “worse” part. You keep just asserting it.

    A fool says in himself that there’s no God.

    Wise people, on the other hand, know that 1) there’s no evidence any god exists, and 2) the assumption that any god exists is not necessary to explain any observation made so far.

  310. #312 amk
    October 25, 2008

    Vote in ink on paper and count the ballots by hand in the polling station. Anything else opens the possibility of Grand Theft Election.

    Paper ballots still leave the possibility of ballot box stuffing. Whether using a computer or ballot boxes, physical security needs to be kept very tight.

    The most alarming thing in the linked article is that hacked firmware could self-propagate.

    Computer voting can also leave physical paper: a random sample of this can be used as an additional check. I see this system does not do this.

    Open Voting Consortium leaves a paper trail and uses open source software.

  311. #313 amphiox
    October 25, 2008

    #301: I’m hoping, perhaps naively, that rational people will use the next four years to work towards diminishing the power of the GOP so that whatever they wish or not wish to allow, they will not have the capacity to do it.

    As a political entity that subverted the established political process of a country to illegally seize power, (continuing to attempt to do so to this day) and, once in power, launched an invasion of another sovereign nation under false pretenses, the GOP should be subject to the same sanction as other political entities, such as the Nazi party of Germany and the Baath party of Iraq, culpable of the same crime.

    The party should be disbanded and rendered illegal. Their leaders should be put on trial for war crimes, and if found guilty, hanged or shot.

    Life imprisonment would also be acceptable, for those of us who are squeamish about capital punishment.

  312. #314 Matthew Luke
    October 25, 2008

    These people need to take their ignorant, self-righteous asses and go back and study their bibles… The right wing of the Republican party doesn’t even know Jesus’s teachings very well. Mean-spirited people who make sure that everyone knows how Christian they are will have a hard time getting into the kingdom of heaven.

    Keep your proselytizing in church… those who seek Him will find Him without you.

    Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one. But don’t claim you’re a better person than those who do — because you’re not.

    But don’t take my word for it:

    (Matthew 6:1-8) “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

    “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

    “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

    (Luke 18:10-17) And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’

    “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

  313. #315 Svetogorsk
    October 25, 2008

    I work in the field of special needs, and autism in particular. I’m intrigued by your analysis, could you point me to studies that show beating the crap out of kids to be an effective approach to autism?

    Yes, I would have assumed – perhaps naively – that autistic kids would be far less likely to respond to such treatment than normal ones (not least because in many cases they simply wouldn’t link the punishment to the offence), and therefore it would be pretty much a waste of time.

    But I haven’t personally tried it myself, so this is purely hypothetical.

  314. #316 John R.
    October 25, 2008

    I don’t know if she was referring to genetic research on fruit flies or agricultural research. Either way, her position is nuts.

    And I can tell you, fruit flies in agriculture are a big freakin’ deal. I used to be a reporter in Florida covering the citrus industry, and I wrote many a story about the adverse economic effects of fruit fly infestations.

    Do be sure to watch the video — hear the absolutely sneering tone in her voice as she says “fruit fly research.”

  315. #317 Geoff Coupe
    October 25, 2008

    #168

    Dear Edward Longshanks. Get a life. You seem to take offence at the slightest excuse. I’m a reader originally from the IOM, so I’m both Manx and British, but I feel no insult intended by PZ’s use of England…

  316. #318 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 25, 2008

    One exam question went like this: What term is used to describe the result of crossing the P1 generation with the F1 generation? Not remembering the correct answer was F2

    It isn’t. It’s backcrossing. F2 is what you get when you cross members of F1 with each other.

    Scientific research on genetic causes of autism is a colossal waste of time and money

    LOL. Then why are there results? And why do autistic people have a small part of the brain missing?

    Stop making arguments from ignorance.

  317. #319 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    There have been two societies in history, and only two, which have unilaterally dismantled their trade tariffs and protectionist arrangements (as opposed to doing so via bilateral agreements) and allowed complete free trade. These are, of course, early nineteenth-century Britain and late twentieth-century Hong Kong. And, not surprisingly, both were huge economic success stories. (I am not claiming that either society was in any way perfect; so please don’t go into a list of the social problems which persisted in both societies.) The practice of unilateral free trade, abandoning all tariffs and subsidies immediately, is of massive proven economic benefit; virtually all economists recognise that free trade is superior. – Walton

    Britain repealed the Corn Laws, the most important import tariff, in 1846. So the “early nineteenth century Britain” was by no means free trading. By 1870 the USA, and somewat later Germany, surpassed Britain as economic powers – both, of course, having protected their nascent industries with tariff walls. As Britain did its textile industry in the late eighteenth century (and before); in 1700, import duties were placed on Indian calico. By 1800 Britain was technically well ahead of the rest of the world, so free trade in manufactured goods were in the interests of important elements of the British elite. Moreover, the East India company ruled India, which served as a literally captive market for British factories. By 1842, the manufacturers, who wanted cheap food, were strong enough to defeat the farmers, who wanted protection – but the use of import tariffs by Germany, the USA and others was already beginning (in interaction with other factors) to erode the British techological lead.

    No country has successfully industrialised without imposing import tariffs; while for the elite of a technologically dominant state (within the global capitalist system or some subsystem such as the EU or NAFTA), “free trade” at that level in whatever are the currently most technically demanding goods and services being produced tends to be beneficial. You cannot analyse capitalist formations such as Britain or Hong Kong in isolation; rather capitalism has complex (and incompletely understood) long-term dynamics, in which states, wars and tariffs are as central as markets. When I say your “free market” utopia has never existed, I mean capitalism has relied from its inception on the existence of multiple, competing and potentially warring states, and on the systematic use of violence and fraud, as well as regulation and taxation. You have to argue (not just assert) that the states-system can be eliminated, or made innocuous, by the “libertarian” approach, and that the resulting unrestrained economic competition will not result either in the unlimited concentration of power and wealth, or private armies and private wars between competing interests.

    Hong Kong is a strange case on which to try and build a general position: its success was heavily dependent on its poliitcal and strategic role in Sino-British relations and the Cold War, underlining what I’m saying about the indivisibility of economic, social and political structures and processes. It is, incidentally, doing much less well now, losing out to southern coastal cities in the PRC – like just about everyone else. Incidentally, what does a “libertarian” analysis of the PRC look like?

  318. #320 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    David M. at #311:

    All you have done here is demonstrated that democracy doesn’t work if the voters are ignorant. That’s neither news, nor is it an eternally inevitable state of affairs — education has already been invented.

    No, you have completely misunderstood what I was saying.

    Let’s take the UK as an example. Imagine, hypothetically, that every voter were fully educated and politically aware. Each and every taxpayer would be aware that, out of his taxes, he was contributing about £1 (about US$2) per year to the cost of farm subsidies. Is it in his rational self-interest, with the information available to him, to spend any time and effort campaigning to remove subsidies, or to change his vote in order to abolish subsidies? No. He simply won’t bother for the sake of saving £1 a year.

    In contrast, the farmers are very keenly aware of how much the subsidies benefit them economically. So it is in their rational self-interest to organise, lobby and vote so as to keep subsidies.

    So even if every voter were fully informed as to every aspect of economic policy – an unlikely scenario in itself – the question is what is in his rational self-interest. It simply isn’t in the interest of the average taxpayer to campaign to get rid of subsidies, tariffs or other iniquitous policies, because the direct pecuniary gain he would make if they were abolished would be inefficient to compensate him for his effort. The people who lose the most, in direct terms, are Third World producers, who can’t compete with protected, subsidised US and EU producers – but, of course, they have no political influence in the US or EU whatsoever.

  319. #321 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Paper ballots still leave the possibility of ballot box stuffing.

    In theory, and in 1930s Chicago, yeah. But not elsewhere.

    Computer voting can also leave physical paper

    which need not agree with the results the voting machine sends to Kenneth “Katherine” Blackwell’s desk, and which may never be recounted or only by a rigged machine… as happened in New Hampshire in 2004.

  320. #322 Dancaban
    October 25, 2008

    Drosophila! I remember them well. Why doesn’t a fruitcake know about a fruitfly?

  321. #323 Genetic Neurobiologist
    October 25, 2008

    PZ,

    This is terrible. To combat Palin’s idiocy, can we compile together a list of profound biomedical applications that resulted from molecular genetics work in “lowly” animals like fruit flies and worms? Having this handy list would be an immediate knock down argument against this Republican idiocy. To start off the list, one major example from C. elegans is the following:

    (1) the genetic dissection of the programmed cell death pathway (ced/egl/etc. genes) — highly conserved, and led to tremendous insight into and therapeutic strategies for cancer

    I would love to hear more contributions so we can keep track of the list. Again, many (if not most) basic insights into how genetics works at all came from these animals, but the most compelling “quick and to the point” arguments for these people are ones with more direct biomedical applications. Things like “discovered X, led to therapeutic strategy for Y” — where Y is a terrible disease. Intellectual things like “the discovery of microRNAs” in nematodes, a fundamental way to regulate genes, will not resonate with idiots, which sadly is our target audience here.

  322. #324 Danielle
    October 25, 2008

    She has made sure it is a VERY easy choice

  323. #325 SC
    October 25, 2008

    Rather than go through the entirety of Pharyngula counting sexist comments, how about this: in comments posted between and including Nov.1st and Nov.30th, you will note with a comment whenever someone makes a sexist comment against women, and I’ll note with a comment whenever someone makes a sexist comment against men, and we can all count them. The following will be our notation.

    #X@ [comment number]:[text]
    #Y@ [comment number]:[text]

    The former will refer to comments targeting women, and the later for men. Of course, I don’t agree that gendered cursing *is* sexist, but we’ll include those too. Perhaps we should track them separately.

    How about this: I was referring to specific comment threads, and not making a broad comment about the posts or comment threads on this blog, as you were (ridiculously).* I invite anyone to look at the recent “A Real, True American Woman” and “Things are getting desperate” threads and deny the misogyny in numerous comments, or to find a thread with a pattern of similar slurs specific to men.

    And unless you can find examples of antimale slurs in the posts, I think you owe PZ an apology.

    *In fact, in general I see less misogyny on this blog than I have in probably any other context. The men here rock. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy it so much, and why when I do see it I want to call people out on it.

    1) “I’m amazed humans males didn’t evolve with giant antlers. The larger, the more dominant the male.”
    2) “I thought most men believe their penises are giant antlers.”
    3) etc.

    Perhaps if it had read “most women think their vaginas are credit cards” you would have noticed.

    First, you don’t understand the meaning of “slur,” do you? Second, I noticed those comments. They’re not slurs. Frankly, I didn’t think they made any sense, and I thought Emmet’s response was perfect. In any case, they – like your hypothetical example – are statements that can be contested. I’ve engaged in discussion/debate on here in the past about women in science without being offended by even the dumbest or most ignorant generalizations or stereotypes. If you were offended by those comments, though, you could simply have pointed that out. However, you’ll note that you can argue with those claims, while you can’t argue with “dumb cunt” – it’s simply an attack.

    Classifying a bunch of curses into one category or another does nothing to “articulate the difference between swearing and misogynistic insults”. Maybe an example would help. Explain to me at what point the following sentence becomes a misogynistic slur (clearly, you seem to believe it is):

    “Oh man, I am such a stupid bitch.” – Jams

    If you’re a man, it simply doesn’t make sense.

    The problem SC, is that you don’t understand what swearing even is. When someone says “stupid cunt” they aren’t denigrating female genitalia, or femininity, or whatever other gendered quality you think it’s targeting.

    Yes, they are. If you can’t see that, you’re being willfully obtuse, just as you were about Marie Curie. If a comment thread grew about Hector Avalos, say, with repeated comments calling him a “dumb spic,” would you fucking get it then?

    Perhaps this might help. Why is it intolerable for you to hear people say “stupid cunt”, but it isn’t intolerable to hear people say “dumb fuck”? Do you think sexual intercourse is so much more worthy of disdain and scorn?

    Because that’s not gender-specific, for fuck’s sake. You’re really exhaustingly dense.

  324. #326 MH
    October 25, 2008

    David #288 “What a scary article. It needs way more publicity.”

    I agree, but what are the chances that the mainstream news corps will report on it?

  325. #327 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Walton,
    “The people who lose the most, in direct terms, are Third World producers, who can’t compete with protected, subsidised US and EU producers – but, of course, they have no political influence in the US or EU whatsoever.”

    The absence of any third-world influence in the US and EU is, so far as capitalist elites in the latter are concerned, not a bug in capitalism, but a feature. Which is one reason we need one-person, worldwide democracy, on those issues that affect us all; coming, if we survive that long, in the second half of the twenty-first century.

    Other things, of course, are better decided at more local scales, but the general principle should be – those seriously affected by a decision should have a say in it.
    In your “libertarian” utopia, on the contrary, decision-making power correlates very directly with wealth; and differences in wealth will be large, and tend to grow without limit. When a rich person bargains with a poor one, the rich has in general, fundamental advantages: better information, more alternatives, better contacts… So differences in wealth tend to be self-reinforcing, and in the absence of strong political institutions, so do differences in power.

  326. #328 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    one-person, worldwide democracy -> one-person, one vote worldwide democracy@327

    [Curses, my Stalinist unconscious betraying me!]

  327. #329 chris bazinet
    October 25, 2008

    Dear Sarah,

    For you to ask what fruit flies have to do with anything is the equivalent of my asking you why hockey isn’t played with a small tactical nuclear device instead of a puck.

    The modern science of genetics is literally built on what we’ve learned from a small bacterium (and its viruses) that inhabits your gut, the fruit fly, and a tiny little worm from your lawn. At least three Nobel Prizes have been awarded to fruit fly researchers; the work of many others depended directly on findings from fruit fly research.

    It’s clear that your ignorance of science will continue and intensify the anti-knowledge Bush administration policies that are ushering in a new Dark Age if you are elected.

  328. #330 Saskboy
    October 25, 2008

    For years, nutjobs commenting on Small Dead Animals have derided David Suzuki as a “Fruit fly scientist” as if that is ‘evidence’ of him being unqualified to speak on other matters of science (especially climate problems). The stupid burns.

  329. #331 SC
    October 25, 2008

    My post @ #325 brought to you by the word “simply.” Thank you, “simply,” for your generous support.

  330. #332 Sphere Coupler
    October 25, 2008

    and the pendulum swings…Always the pendulum swings…

  331. #333 K. Engels
    October 25, 2008

    Fruit Fly Research in Paris, France was an example of Democrat ‘Pork’ on a flier the Michigan GOP sent out months ago.

  332. #334 Kelly K
    October 25, 2008

    She was making the point that the government should not have to fund these research projects especially when they were passed as earmarks. Private funding is what she is striving for.

  333. #335 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    one-person, one vote worldwide democracy@327 – In other words, the tyranny of the majority, only on an even more vast, bloated, inefficient and bureaucratic scale than at present.

    I am not asserting that we should scrap government altogether, by any means. David Friedman did suggest that in his talk last night, and seemed to advocate having private law enforcement and competing “rights-enforcement firms”; but I find this idea risible, as, even if such a system were able to evolve a rational and consistent system of law, it would inevitably be skewed drastically towards those with more power, therefore preventing a free and competitive market. (This is what happens when otherwise brilliant economists extend their views to fundamentally non-economic questions.)

    And FWIW, I agree with you that in an anarcho-capitalist social framework, with no state control at all, the largest corporations would use private armies and coercive force to become monopolies, and there would be nothing resembling a free market.

    So I believe in a rational and impartial system of law; in the protection of persons and property from unwarranted interference; and in formal equality of persons before the law. But I also believe in global free trade without tariffs or subsidies. Fundamentally, why should a British or American or French farmer be artificially protected at the expense of the rest of the nation, and given a special status, compared to his counterpart in the Third World? There is no coherent justification for protectionism, and you haven’t given me one. All producers should compete in the same market, therefore creating broader competition and more efficiency.

    I take your point about the fact that capitalism has never existed in a pure, unalloyed form, free of the constraints of geopolitics; this is certainly true. But, generally, where it has occurred, free trade between two countries does create greater efficiency, and in the long run greater prosperity, in both countries. Opening one’s borders to international trade, as Hong Kong, Singapore and innumerable other countries have done, generates wealth in those countries. Closing one’s borders to the outside world, nationalising industries and tightly controlling trade – as happens in North Korea – creates poverty and deprivation.

    Markets are not perfect; but for most fields of human endeavour, they work better than the alternative. Where markets simply can’t work, we need to find innovative solutions. For instance, the ITQs (Individual Transferable Quotas) used in the Icelandic fishing industry are an efficient, property-rights-based solution to the depletion of fish stocks; they allow a competitive market, but one that takes into account a negative externality (depletion of resources) which would otherwise not affect the market. Likewise, Pigovian taxes, such as taxes on pollution or on the sale of cigarettes, are an elegant and praiseworthy solution to market failure.

  334. #336 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    She was making the point that the government should not have to fund these research projects especially when they were passed as earmarks. Private funding is what she is striving for.

    Then she should bloody well have said that rather than deriding the research. Here’s how: “Now, research into mating patterns of crop pests is important to our agricultural economy, and it should be funded, but it should be funded privately, and not through earmarks.” See?

  335. #337 Carlie
    October 25, 2008

    SC, Jams isn’t even worth your time. It’s been weird lately – used to be that one would see nary a group-based slur around this place; all of the insults were sharp and well-deserved and to the point. Now all of a sudden it’s regressed into kindergarten-level namecalling of the “you’re such a girl” and “you’re so fat” genre. Sad, really, to see people flailing about so incompetently.

  336. #338 Alex Deam
    October 25, 2008

    @Lago #45

    You think that is crazy? I knew this weird wacko leftist elitist named “Fleming,” (probably French too) that used to waste much of his time looking at bread mold! What a kook, huh?

    Fleming was British actually.

  337. #339 Emmet Caulfield
    October 25, 2008

    Now all of a sudden it’s regressed into kindergarten-level namecalling of the “you’re such a girl” and “you’re so fat” genre.

    I blame the influx of pribbling spur-galled malt-worms.

  338. #340 Pierce R. Butler
    October 25, 2008

    Jeeves @ # 227: …just remember what your mothers all told you, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

    I prefer Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s variation [non-verbatim]:

    If you can’t say anything nice about anybody – come sit here by me.

  339. #341 sonya
    October 25, 2008

    I am from the UK, and have been horrified and terrified that any significant US political party could elect Sarah Palin as potential VP and – under certain circumstances – Big P of your country, perhaps worse still is that some significant numbers will vote for her. The woman is not only moronic, thick as twenty planks, but she is power thirsty and vicious. How is it possible she is in the position she is in? It is beyond comprehension and terrifying.

    Anyone noticed her Freudian slips? An example: In her debate with Biden she said, then quickly corrected herself ‘McCain is the one who should leave..er lead’! Yesterday I saw a clip where she stated that the VP was in charge of the Senate. Moronic? Yes. But also, I fear, unintential but totally accurate statements of intent from this despicable excuse of woman.

  340. #342 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    Carlie, I’ve been wading my way through the archives, and you are right in that it appears that the level of discourse has dropped to a degree. The key point is degree. There was always name calling going on, but it didn’t seem that person after person was engaged as has been done recently.

    I can posit two possible causes. First, the election has everybody on edge. So people are quicker to go on the attack. The second, that the most recent influx of posters is of a younger demographic. I think some of the younger crowd fail to discern that posting should be a bit more formal than texting, and a bit more polite.

  341. #343 Patricia
    October 25, 2008

    We’ve also lost quite a number of good regulars, and Molly winners. And there are some people cough * Walton *cough that wit is totally wasted on.

  342. #344 Ali from morocco
    October 25, 2008

    Now you have a taste of the crap we hear in the middleeast from both parties in the united states.

  343. #345 Rick Schauer
    October 25, 2008

    negentropyeater, #193
    Nice description of fascism! And, we’re damn close to it currently.

    Walton…”A key problem with Pigovian tax is that of calculating what level of tax will counterbalance the negative externality.” (source…wiki)

    Additionally, your pigovian statement makes you a hypocrate…libertarians, summarily are “live and let live,” therefore, any taxes that are utilized to curb behavior run against true libertarian ideals.

    Furthermore, (pigovian or other) taxes to curb behaviors observably don’t work (i.e. marijuana stamp tax, many, many others) and are largely ignored or become tyrannical in application.

    IMHO, until we pass legislation that begins with recognizing we all are an evolving specie with differing levels of cognitive and behavioral characteristics…we’re fucked!

  344. #346 Walton
    October 25, 2008

    And there are some people cough * Walton *cough that wit is totally wasted on.

    Maybe wit is wasted on me, but I don’t think you can accuse me of being consistently impolite or dragging down the level of discourse. If I have done so at any point, I apologise.

    You may not find me an especially entertaining person to talk to; that’s your privilege. If you think I’m actually disrupting the community, then say so. But if not, I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong. I’ve been engaging in productive and interesting economic discussion with a number of people. I haven’t been using misogynist insults, to the best of my knowledge. I try to be reasonable and civil.

  345. #347 Anton Mates
    October 25, 2008

    She was making the point that the government should not have to fund these research projects especially when they were passed as earmarks. Private funding is what she is striving for.

    And that point is silly, because research projects like those she described can contribute significantly to the areas she says the government should fund. Which is the point of PZ’s post.

  346. #348 stogoe
    October 25, 2008

    Also, I find it interesting that Liberal computer geeks seem to favour Unix-like operating systems, while their Conservative counterparts seem to favour Microsoft products.

    Meh. I use Windows because it’s ubiquitous. I don’t particularly need or want an expensive, superfast rig, and frankly the sheer smugness of the hipster-than-thou “I’m a Mac” advertising has turned me off Mac products forever.

  347. #349 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    Walton, you are disrupting our community. There, somebody said it. Your concern in our election is remote, and this blog tends toward the liberal end of the US political spectrum, and you are from the conservative end. So, as you have so often put it, you are here for your own amusement. We don’t find you so amusing. So if you posted a couple of times a day, there wouldn’t be a problem. But you seem to have taken up residence here. If you are willing to take advice, cut your time to 30-60 minutes a day here.

  348. #350 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    To illustrate the mentality of many of your bloggers, it was long ago established by the educational community, that the only reason so many people use four letter words is, because they are not intelligent enough build a coherent sentence without them.

    I count nine four-letter words in that travesty of a gratuitous-comma-infected, preposition-missing, yet (barely) coherent sentence. What’s your fucking point?

    Where are all these sub-hominid trolls coming from? Who linked this post?

  349. #351 Edward Longshanks
    October 25, 2008

    Dear Geoff Coupe,

    If you feel no offence then goof for you. Although as a manky you should know that the Isle of Menn is not part of the UK so you have nothing to be offended about.

    Regards,

    Edward Longshanks

  350. #352 glig
    October 25, 2008

    I hate to admit that Palin’s remarks about research DID surprise me. I thought her best gaffes were behind her.

    I want to ask Governor Palin if one of her children needed life-or-death surgery, how would she choose a physician? Would she go with a regular ‘Joe’ doc who went to a local med school, the kind of guy with pedestrian experience but would “do his best, you betcha”? Or would she consider someone with top flight experience and academic credentials? Maybe someone who finished fifth from the top of his class rather than fifth from the bottom?

    Nah! Too elitist!

  351. #353 Patricia
    October 25, 2008

    Sven – Gawd sent them to whip us sinners into shape.

  352. #354 Blue Girl
    October 25, 2008

    John @ 231: Do you ridicule all religions as well?

    Actually, yes. I have no patience or tolerance for supposedly sentient individuals who prostrate themselves to superstition. I mock them, I ridicule them and I despise them. Clear enough?

  353. #355 nikolai
    October 25, 2008

    The neocon republicans know EXACTLY what they’re doing as far as pandering to the ignorant, religious right-wing. They already have the votes of the wealthy and middle class repubs, so all they need under their thumb are the lower class, under-educated, funamentalist hillbillies and their ilk, and they know just how to attract them. For example, they promote Sara Palin as wordly, educated, religious, attractive and on their side and against the “liberals”. Also, a LOT (but not all, mind you) of these folks are racist. The thing is, even these folks KNOW they were duped and used by bush and rove, so the burning question is, will they fall for it again? Let’s hope at least a fair percentage of them won’t, even if it means they won’t vote.

  354. #356 LaPopessa
    October 25, 2008

    Certainly not surprised, or (sad to say) stunned. It’s the same ol’ same ol’ from the psycho right. All life is precious before it is born, after that, all bets are off. How can we expect someone who believes in creationism to even understand how science or medical advances work, let alone support them.

  355. #357 E.V.
    October 25, 2008

    PZ:
    You’ve been quoted on Crooks & Liars http://crooksandliars.com/
    (sorry, if someone has already mentioned this, it gets hairy slogging through 350+ posts.)

  356. #358 JD
    October 25, 2008

    This is all McCain’s fault: The Vet Who Did Not Vet

  357. #359 12th Monkey
    October 25, 2008

    To #38 by Jordan Fett: Actually when you mentioned It’s a Wonderful Life I immediately thought of the Beavis and Butthead episode where the angel shows Beavis (or was it Butthead) how wonderful the world would have been if he had never lived.

  358. #360 Joe Smith
    October 25, 2008

    I really cannot believe how turly dum and clueless she is. If being dum was a crime she would be in jail for life!

  359. #361 bonefish
    October 25, 2008

    Aw, gee Bob @ 16, I know what mutagenize means and I’m not even a scientist…

  360. #362 Carlie
    October 25, 2008

    I blame the influx of pribbling spur-galled malt-worms.

    Ah, music to my ears.

    I think some of the younger crowd fail to discern that posting should be a bit more formal than texting, and a bit more polite.

    Oh, I don’t think there was ever a surfeit of formality and politeness here. :)
    Just, it’s hard to define, discourse and insults based more on actual points of disagreement than knee-jerk reaction. More likely to be called out on acting like an ass who doesn’t have a cogent argument, and being explained to in excruciating detail why that person has no argument, rather than being made fun of for whatever physical characteristic jumps out most. Take the recent insane woman rant – instead of the whole thread being about how delusional she was, it turned into being about how fat she was. Rudeness that’s to the point is more effective than rudeness that’s a diversionary tactic.

  361. #363 larry walker
    October 25, 2008

    This is one dangerous woman. If she and her religious fanatic friends had their way we would be back in the stone age worshipping God knows what. She and her kind are the ones who burn books because what’s in them doesn’t mesh with their distorted perceptions of the way THEY think it ought to be!

  362. #364 Reginald Selkirk
    October 25, 2008

    She said “study fruit flies in paris”

    yes, she did. I’m guessing she said that because Paris is the only city in France that she knows of and can remember. Sort of like when she said the worst aspect of Cheney’s vice presidency was “the duck hunting incident.” (it was quail hunting.) A search of earmarks.omb.gov turns up only one earmark about “fruit fly” and “france” – a study of the olive fruit fly, with a location of Montpellier, France.

  363. #365 barkdog
    October 25, 2008

    I know that I am jumping in late on this subtopic, but I would like to add to the discussion about tariffs and free trade. The British did indeed dump tariffs in favor of free trade early in the nineteenth century, and then put them back in place at the end when German and American competition began to pinch. Their policy after that was built around protective tariffs with “Imerial Preferences” to molify the dominions. It seems that tree trade is only attractive when it is advantages.

  364. #366 Rey Fox
    October 25, 2008

    “Now all of a sudden it’s regressed into kindergarten-level namecalling of the “you’re such a girl” and “you’re so fat” genre. ”

    Well, you know what they say: Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. And I sure haven’t seen any angels around here.

  365. #367 Jams
    October 25, 2008

    ‘If one more fucking comment thread includes the words “stupid/dumb…cunt/bitch,” I’m going to stop reading anything having to do with women here.’ – SC

    ‘I was referring to specific comment threads, and not making a broad comment about the posts or comment threads on this blog’ – SC

    Of course! You were referring to “comment threads”, not “comment threads”. How could I be so stupid?

    ‘And unless you can find examples of antimale slurs in the posts, I think you owe PZ an apology.’ – SC

    Sorry PZ, by ‘mostly the comments’ I meant ‘the comments’.

    ‘First, you don’t understand the meaning of “slur,” do you?’ – SC

    SC, you really need to back off this line of attack. You’re not very good at it. In this case, the most appropriate definition of slur is “to cast aspersions on; calumniate; disparage; depreciate”. All the examples I provided do that explicitly. The profanity you’re complaining about, while it does qualify as a slur, doesn’t qualify as a slur against women as a class. You can imagine that they do only by imposing a literal meaning where none was intended.

    ‘Second, I noticed those comments. They’re not slurs.’ – SC

    According to the definition of slur they are. Maybe you can enlighten me as to how exactly those statements don’t cast aspersions?

    ‘If you’re a man, it simply doesn’t make sense.’ – SC

    It makes perfect sense as profanity. That’s how profanity works. Most profanity doesn’t make literal sense because it’s not supposed to. In what way does “fucktard” make sense? Again, you don’t understand what profanity is, how it works, or what it means. What seems to be bothering you is gender agreement.

    We seek gender agreement for linguistic reasons. That’s why profanity is often gendered. Not because the speaker is attempting to make a statement about the whole of that gender class (though profanity can be *used* to do that). For an utterance to qualify as misogynistic, it must explicitly target women as a class. Calling someone a “dumb bitch” doesn’t do that. Saying to someone “you’re stupid like all women” does.

    ‘Yes, they are. If you can’t see that [...]‘ – SC

    Is someone denigrating the act of sexual intercourse when they say “dumb fuck”? No. Or perhaps you have an argument that shows that it does?

    ‘Because that’s not gender-specific, for fuck’s sake. You’re really exhaustingly dense.’ – SC

    “dumb spic” isn’t gender-specific either, and you seem to think it should be considered in the same light. Does that make you “exhaustingly dense”?

    ‘If a comment thread grew about Hector Avalos, say, with repeated comments calling him a “dumb spic,” would you fucking get it then?’ – SC

    Considering that “dumb spic” isn’t actually used as profanity, I don’t see how it’s even comparable. Either is “dumb tire”, “dumb antelope”, or “dumb waiter”.

    It’s telling to see that examples of explicit misandry bother you less than profanity that bares, at best, a distant resemblance to misogyny. And, of course, you still haven’t explained why or how you identify specific utterances as misogynistic (profane or otherwise).

  366. #368 maureen
    October 25, 2008

    Geoff Coupe and I – both Manx not “mankies” – both know perfectly well that the Isle of Man is not part of the United Kingdom. But as individuals we are British by birth.

    I suspect that Geoff is a little younger than I and things may have improved a little but I’d love to have a pound back for every minute I’ve wasted trying to explain both those ideas to, especially, the English but others too.

  367. #369 Dragon
    October 25, 2008

    I would vote for Obama, if it wasn’t for one thing:
    ….
    I just turned 18, and didn’t get my voter registration in on time.
    While at the same time, I despise the American voting process. The general election should be the ONLY election, which would stop presidents from being elected who did not have the majority vote. Id est, Dubya and a few others which I don’t have the time to verify, but I believe to be Andrew Jackson (Trail of Tears) and someone else, that I honestly do not remember. I apologize for not verifying this myself, but I am sure someone else will be happy to tell me if I am right, wrong, or tell me the name of the other president that I have forgotten.
    Shadow, no matter what you have been through, things can always be better or worse. I regret what you must have been through to have such an opinion as you do, but there is nothing anyone can do for you.
    Cuttlefish, very nice poem. I think I will add it to my MySpace.
    As for the whole swearing vs misogynistic insults, I call them as I see them. While I understand that many people believe words such as “cunt,” “bitch,” “prick,” “dickhead,” and other such expletives are an insult to the whole gender, I disagree. Men and women both can be just as much of a “bitch” or “prick” (as an insult) as the other sex can. I am male, and many times I am disgusted with my sex for the way we have have treated females throughout the centuries, but it does go both ways.
    Why can’t we agree to disagree with the subject of science and religion? I am a Pagan Theist. I believe in intelligent design, but I believe that the human race does not have any idea what that intelligence may be or may have been. I believe in magic as a simple force of nature; it is what allows us to think, feel, remember, dream, and move our bodies. It is what makes the sun shine and put forth heat. In scientific terms, I believe in magic as the same as energy. It is never increased or decreased, and it is always there and always will be.
    As for economics, government regulation can be good or bad. Regulation can stop monopolies, or it can cause them, depending on the law which is put into place.
    Sarah Palin is a complete, unabashed, imbecilic, backwoods hick. I can think of no worse insult to call her than “Christian Fundamentalist.” I am not against Christians, as long as they understand that they may be wrong just like everyone else, and don’t attempt to bring their “faith” into everyone else’s lives. Some of my best friends are Christian, but they are the liberal, open-minded kind that fundamentalists hate.
    I believe that if there is a god or goddess, then they have no intention to involve themselves in worldly affairs. If they have, and this is the result, then by all means, let’s all try to overcome them.
    Thank you.

  368. #370 Eric Atkinson
    October 25, 2008

    Yes Palin is ignorant of biology and the role of fruit flies. I find her belief in creationism disturbing.
    But it dosen’t make her anti-science or all the invectives
    used in this thread. What it makes her, like so many of the people in politics, it ignorant of one or more branches of science.
    I had two classes of biology in high school and one 100 level class of biology in college when I got my EE 28 years ago. I read and try to keep up with general science as much as I can. And I am willing to bet my weak education in biology is still better that 90% of the people in this country. Does any one think that Obama learned anything about biology in law school? I don’t know what he tool as a under grad, but I bet biology got passed over.

    All you “holier than thou” libs should be more into correcting errors the politicians make about science, instead of flinging names around.

    Correct them, don’t curse them.

    Dr Myers, The “ignorant” was justified. The “anti science”,was not.

  369. #371 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    “dumb spic” isn’t gender-specific either – Jams

    It’s ethnically specific, lame brain. Like “dumb bitch”, it’s aimed at a particular, historically disadvantaged section of the population, into which individuals are born.

  370. #372 Katharine
    October 25, 2008

    Dark Ages Barbie makes me want to cry.

    A possible worst case scenario (note I said worst case scenario; whether this is likely or not is not something I know) if McCain and Palin are elected –

    1) McCain croaks in about two years.

    2) Palin, as president, writes executive orders to the effect that abortion is effectively outlawed – if Bush can violate the Constitution and existing laws, so can she – and eventually criminalizes even going to another country for one in the same way America has criminalized overseas child sex tourism, except this instance of criminalizing overseas activity is actually batshit. This not only criminalizes poor women, but also rich women who can afford to go overseas for abortions.

    3) Contraception is outlawed, which is her first assault on American medicine. End-of-life care is also compromised. Women are utterly and totally fucked. She may even stop allowing sterilizations and even medically necessary surgical removal of reproductive systems, if she is indeed that batshit (which I wouldn’t put past her, even if I don’t know about her ideas about elective/therapeutic sterilization), which would kill hundreds.

    4) Palin freezes the NIH and NSF’s budget for just long enough (she’s anti-science and probably would be even more ridiculous about this than McCain is) that academia’s ability to survive in Palin’s madness-driven country begins to take a nosedive. This, in turn, fucks up the REST of medicine and, as a side effect, virtually kills our economy (since we’re already in an economic depression).

    5) Only after this does she actually turn to our civil rights. We atheists are put up against the wall first. Gays are put up against the wall next. Women and racial minorities, since Palin has notably taken a far softer position on these things (except for her ridiculous pro-life position) and her dominionist butt-buddies aren’t going to get in her way, are generally screwed over (women already have lost their reproductive rights), and racial minorities get shafted even worse than the women do, with women of color getting the worst of the crap. The US is, by now, an uber-Britain in terms of its surveillance actions.

    6) Welcome to the Dark Ages. Fortunately, by this point, those of us who are sane will have moved overseas, even if Europe’s economy is going to take a hit, and the Islamic fundamentalists will probably have perpetrated enough of a suicide attack that they will have unwittingly given us sane people the upper hand.

    Of course, this is just one of many possible ways a McPain/Failin’ administration could play out.

    Fortunately, I think we in the scientific community can count on an Obama/Biden administration. I mean, seriously, doubled NIH/NSF funding is good.

  371. #373 steve
    October 25, 2008

    I just cried a little.

  372. #374 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Eric Atkinson,
    Your stupidity is evidently boundless. Anyone who knows there is a scientific consensus for the reality of evolution but rejects it is clearly anti-science: this position can only be maintained by claiming evolutionary biologists are, en masse, utterly incompetent or dishonest. Anyone who does not know of the consensus is not just ignorant, but deliberately, perversely ignorant; hence, anti-science. The same is true with respect to anthropogenic global warming. Palin’s sneers at fruit fly research again indicate anti-scientific malice: she at best assumes on the basis of total ignorance that this research is worthless. She’s anti-science, theocratic scum.

  373. #376 Katharine
    October 25, 2008

    Dragon –

    If you think we’re going to be any less hard on you because you’re a pagan and you’re only barely eighteen, think again.

    The phrase ‘agree to disagree’ is a thought-terminating cliche; it makes an attempt to stop discussion in the name of letting everybody have their own opinion. You have your own opinion, but you don’t have your own facts.

    You have not got proof for ‘intelligent design’, no matter whether you have a defined imaginary friend or if you have some unnamed imaginary acquaintance, even. The fact of the matter is that all evidence points to evolution, and not only that, it is EXTREMELY disingenuous to fill the gaps with assumptions. The philosophical wanking is not amusing, please stop it.

    Also, this magic shit does not exist. Guess what allows us to think and remember? Our brains. Our genetic code. The chemical reactions in our bodies and the organic compounds that are partially obtained from the food we ingest. OMFSM, kid, have you ever had a fucking biology class?

    Also, your dualism is, if you have read the last few posts on here, philosophical wankery. Try reading, it’s good for you.

  374. #377 thalarctos
    October 25, 2008

    It’s ethnically specific, lame brain.

    Heh. I would have said “It’s ethnically specific, numbnuts”, and watch Jams’ tiny little brain overheat trying to figure that one out.

    Like “dumb bitch”, it’s aimed at a particular, historically disadvantaged section of the population, into which individuals are born.

    What Nick said. Additionally, “cunt”, “bitch”, and that set of pejoratives are aimed at the possessor of normal anatomy for being a normal woman. “Prick” and “dick” are the same type and direction of slur, in terms of content, but you’d have to be oblivious to centuries of history to promote a false equivalence.

    “Numbnuts”, on the other hand, is a gender-specific slur I’m using for you to indicate that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being male and possessing normal male anatomy, *except yours doesn’t work right*, and therein lies the slur.

    Unlike PZ and the host of rational, feminist-sympathetic, normal grown-up males who post here, you haven’t figured out some basic stuff about history, culture, and how to treat other people, just to name a few of your obvious deficiencies on display in your post.

    Hence, “numbnuts”.

  375. #378 chascates
    October 25, 2008

    I think she despises science because it proved that the universe isn’t 6,000 years old.

  376. #379 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Why can’t we agree to disagree with the subject of science and religion? – Dragon

    Because science, although not sufficient alone, is a necessary precondition of the good life, while religion is false and harmful.

  377. #380 Eric Atkinson
    October 25, 2008

    So nick,
    How many people in the world today fit that definition of
    “not just ignorant, but deliberately, perversely ignorant; hence, anti-science?”
    If Palen is ignorant of biology, then how does she know there is a consensus about evolution?

    AGW is still only opinion.

    And I’ll keep my estiments of your stupidity to my self.

  378. #381 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Why can’t we agree to disagree with the subject of science and religion?

    Because that’s like saying we should agree to disagree on the color of the sky, that water freezes at 32° f and that Chlorophyll is necessary for photosynthesis.

  379. #382 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    So nick,
    How many people in the world today fit that definition of “not just ignorant, but deliberately, perversely ignorant; hence, anti-science?”
    – Eric Atkinson

    All too many, eric, including you:

    AGW is still only opinion. – Eric Atkinson

    Right, and evolution is “still only a theory”.

    You unmask your own total irrationality, eric. No-one who looks honestly and without self-deception at the current state of sceintific research into climate change can doubt that there is an overwhelming consensus among relevant scientific experts that AGW is real, and an urgent problem. Climate change denialism, like evolution denialism, rests on the claim that the relevant expert community consists almost entirely of liars or incompetent charlatans. In both caes there is the same absence of a coherent alternative theory, the same refusal to consider the consilience of evidence from multiple disciplines, the endless reappearance of already-refuted canards, the challenges to public debate combined with failure of the denialists to publish in the literature.

  380. #383 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    AGW is still only opinion.

    EricA, there is a difference between informed scientific opinion, which backs AGW, or non-scientific opinion that tries to spin the data for other reasons. You opinion doesn’t count as much in science as mine, a 30-year practitioner in the field, because you don’t have a good grasp of what constitutes real data as opposed to political spin, and then be able to make conclusions based on the real data.

    If you think your opinion on scientific matters is equal to that of practicing scientists, you are sorely mistaken. This doesn’t say you can’t have an opinion, but it doesn’t negate a more expert opinion.

    I’ve already expressed by opinion of your stupidity, so I don’t have to repeat myself.

  381. #384 RamblinDude
    October 25, 2008

    David Marjanovi? #288

    What a scary article. It needs way more publicity.

    Agreed. It needs a lot more votes on Digg:

    http://digg.com/politics/Study_Sequoia_e_voting_machines_disturbingly_easy_to_hack_2

  382. #385 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Trouble in paradise um somewhere?

    McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan.

    A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

  383. #386 Patricia
    October 25, 2008

    I don’t think Eric has a good grasp on anything, except maybe his Vienna Sausage.

  384. #387 Edward Longshanks
    October 25, 2008

    Dear Maureen,

    I know it’s “Manx” and not “Manks”.

    I was making a point. Correct usage of nationality is basic manners.

    In the same way PZ Myers would not call Canada the “USA” then I see no reason why when he means the United Kingdom he should just say “England”.

    It’s not the end of the world, but for an intelligent guy it should be natural.

  385. #388 maureen
    October 25, 2008

    Sixty-six years of experience tells me that the worst culprits when it comes to saying “England” when they mean “the United Kingdom” are the English themselves.

    This is boring. Could you get back to invading Scotland or something, please.

  386. #389 Bulletbob
    October 25, 2008

    This is straight from the Saul Alinsky radical playbook to power – rule 5

    “5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also, it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.”

    I tell you Obama and alphabet networks entire campaign are straight out of there. Soon welcome to the CSA – Communist States of America.

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    October 25, 2008

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  388. #391 irvine eddie
    October 25, 2008

    OK, so this is the gov who not only doesn’t “believe in” evolution but also is one of those young earthalons–believing that, despite 100% scientific evidence to the contrary, the earth is, like, only 6000 years old.

    So, Sarah, here’s an essay exam question:

    If the earth is only 6000 years old, and all those trillions of barrels of oil are still down there waiting for “baby drill”, since oil is simply fossilized and decayed earth plant life, how did all that carbon get there from just 6000 years of plants.

    Cite examples.

    Begin.

  389. #392 Wowbagger
    October 25, 2008

    Ralph, seriously. Don’t huff paint and blog, man.

  390. #393 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Ralph, stick to decaf and seek mental help immediately.

  391. #394 SC
    October 25, 2008

    ‘If one more fucking comment thread includes the words “stupid/dumb…cunt/bitch,” I’m going to stop reading anything having to do with women here.’ – SC

    ‘I was referring to specific comment threads, and not making a broad comment about the posts or comment threads on this blog’ – SC

    Of course! You were referring to “comment threads”, not “comment threads”. How could I be so stupid?

    I really don’t know. That I was expressing my exasperation at a recent phenomenon was implied in my comment, and indicated by the fact that I had been involved in discussions about it on other recent threads. I had also expressed more than once in recent weeks that generally the level of sexism around here is remarkably low.

    ‘If you’re a man, it simply doesn’t make sense.’ – SC

    It makes perfect sense as profanity. That’s how profanity works. Most profanity doesn’t make literal sense because it’s not supposed to. In what way does “fucktard” make sense? Again, you don’t understand what profanity is, how it works, or what it means. What seems to be bothering you is gender agreement.

    Fucking duh. This paragraph is too stupid even to respond to. Carlie was right.

    Is someone denigrating the act of sexual intercourse when they say “dumb fuck”? No. Or perhaps you have an argument that shows that it does?

    Considering that “dumb spic” isn’t actually used as profanity, I don’t see how it’s even comparable. Either is “dumb tire”, “dumb antelope”, or “dumb waiter”.

    Why can’t you grasp that I have no objection to fucking profanity? I was just saying the other day that I wished fucking PhysioProf would fucking comment here more, and a more foulmouthed poster you’re unlikely to find. I’m fucking friends with truth machine. You’re a goddamned peabrain.

    It’s telling to see that examples of explicit misandry

    Where were those? Those two silly comments you offered? Do you think anyone’s buying your argument about the majority of gendered slurs around here being male-directed? You’re deluded.

    The profanity you’re complaining about, while it does qualify as a slur, doesn’t qualify as a slur against women as a class. You can imagine that they do only by imposing a literal meaning where none was intended.

    For an utterance to qualify as misogynistic, it must explicitly target women as a class. Calling someone a “dumb bitch” doesn’t do that. Saying to someone “you’re stupid like all women” does.

    bother you less than profanity that bares, at best, a distant resemblance to misogyny. And, of course, you still haven’t explained why or how you identify specific utterances as misogynistic (profane or otherwise).

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cunt&

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cunt

    http://dictionary.reverso.net/english-definitions/cunt

    Utterances are defined as misogynistic or derogatory more generally through social convention. In our culture, at the moment (though these words may be fully reclaimed in the future), “cunt” and “bitch” are misogynistic slurs. You can’t make that not so by saying you don’t think it’s the case.

  392. #395 Blake Stacey
    October 25, 2008

    Hmmmm.

    One more datum to support my hypothesis that the Internet is where you go if you need something to make you think, “I could have a head full of acid and not be that crazy.”

  393. #396 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    I tell you Obama and alphabet networks entire campaign are straight out of there. Soon welcome to the CSA – Communist States of America. – Bulletbob

    Alphabet networks? Anyone?

  394. #397 stephanie in OZ
    October 25, 2008

    People have started substituting slang terms for human anatomy but it isn’t really the same thing. Pointless debates are raging about whether Palin is a “dumb cunt” or a “stupid dickhead”. Neither is very accurate in a literal sense.

    My vote is for asshat. Palin is an asshat.

  395. #398 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Alphabet networks? Anyone?

    my guess ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN etc..

  396. #399 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Rev,
    Thanks. I’d forgotten that Obama owned all those TV networks. The cunning, cunning fiend!

  397. #400 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Um, do not go to ralph’s blog.

    The crazy-shit-o-meter is spinning.

    WTF is a PIAPS?

  398. #401 SC
    October 25, 2008

    See also:

    http://mw1.m-w.com/dictionary/bitch

    Ah, and what Nick Gotts and thalarctos said.

  399. #403 SC
    October 25, 2008

    My vote is for asshat. Palin is an asshat.

    Alas, if only I didn’t now associate asshat with Brenda van Ahsen (the ignorant slut).

  400. #404 Blake Stacey
    October 25, 2008

    Anton Mates:

    I’m starting to think she gave an entirely different speech at the same time, in sign language, which discusses the virtues of peer review and the drawbacks of subsidizing the olive industry.

    This comment deserves a prize.

  401. #405 Marc Abian
    October 25, 2008

    The funniest thing I’ve ever read on this site was said by James Haight at 158.

    Well done sir. Well done.

  402. #406 pablohusseinlee
    October 25, 2008

    Hmmm. I’m sending an army of freedom flies to investigate. Republican hypocrisy is so yestday.(and the decade before)can we move on to figuring out how to fix this corny mess they got us into?

  403. #407 Rey Fox
    October 25, 2008

    Oh no! Not the big, bad communists! Horror!

  404. #408 Steve_C
    October 25, 2008

    PIAPS=PIG IN A PANTS SUIT

    The wingnuts are always classy.

  405. #409 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    ugh

    I thought is was some reference to Catholics or the pope.

    What a douche.

  406. #410 Rey Fox
    October 25, 2008

    I’m going to have to join Fark or Something Awful now so I can make “DEBORAH ANOINTING” into the latest incomprehensible web meme.

  407. #411 Harrison Tawiah
    October 25, 2008

    Palin love crabs and I’m pretty sure she’ll be happier seeing more federal funds into king blue crabs research instead of fruitflies.

  408. #412 dave
    October 25, 2008

    I found this great site with a poll which shows what voters really think of Sarah Palin’s experience. check it out

    http://www.polldaily.com/polls/2008-10-p21-sarah-palin-qualifications.aspx

  409. #413 The Snark
    October 25, 2008

    I like Sarah! We need more of her! LOTS more. As W, where can you find a better example of the Lucifer Principle in action?
    (Lucifer Principle: To give contrast to ignorance and display it in stark relief. Lucifer translates as light bringer. Interesting that Christianity demonized both word and principle during it’s dark ages recruiting drive.)

  410. #414 ralph
    October 25, 2008

    The problem is this; If people think, i.e. believe in the scientific method, it is difficult to get them to keep drinking the “coolaid” and believing the fairytale.

    rc

  411. #415 hawkerbabe
    October 25, 2008

    Raven (poster #79), ummm…no, it’s not. Believe it or not, we’ve got indoor plumbing and everything!

    And whoever suggested that she should be sent back here, please don’t! As the old joke goes…take my governor, please!

  412. #416 joey
    October 25, 2008

    Wow this whole site is full of ignorant politically prejudice hateful retards.

  413. #417 peter byers
    October 25, 2008

    As an Englishman living in America (I love this country like my own) I am distressed that such a great nation like America can seriously put someone so ignorant not only on research matters but other important subjects up for election. The world is facing economic disaster and typical of America (unfortunately) it is hiding it’s head in the sand. Hope for the future lies in all people understanding the difficult choices about how to create a future that works. Read “The last hours of ancient sunlight” by author Thom Hartmann.

  414. #418 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Wow this whole site is full of ignorant politically prejudice hateful retards.

    I’m sure you are a drive by but please expand on that and tell us why we are ignorant.

    Oh and Irony meter go boom.

  415. #419 SC
    October 25, 2008

    Rev., your comments today are so…spacious. :)

  416. #420 Tommy Maney
    October 25, 2008

    Palin is a perfect example of a new level of stupidity that has emerged in the Bush
    era. A tragic drama is unfolding in the US. Palin is a clever right wing villen unearthed
    via an evil Rovin political idealogy that invented Bush Jr. This kind of insane conservitive
    machine is nothing less than a traitor to America. I only hope there is a big enough
    stake to drive through its heart.

  417. #421 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    I blame it on Makers Mark and Widespread Panic.

  418. #422 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    politically prejudice [sic]

    I’m curious about this concept of “political prejudice.” I have certain political opinions, as, I’m sure, do you, Mr. Subhominid. I also think (as, I’m sure, do you) that people who do not share my opinions are wrong, stupid, and/or evil. Are we both therefore “politically prejudice[d]“? What a weird formulation.

  419. #423 Fran
    October 25, 2008

    I wonder is Sarah would feel differently if she could see Paris from her house…….

  420. #424 sporty in CA
    October 25, 2008

    cant wait for my OBAMA check, my wife and i pull 160K a year and hearing no tax increase on us + a check makes us vote Obama. Hope it has at least 3 zeroes left of the decimal

  421. #425 Nick Gotts
    October 25, 2008

    Wow this whole site is full of ignorant politically prejudice hateful retards. – joey

    Admittedly we get a lot dropping in, but most of them soon realise this isn’t the place for them. Bye joey.

  422. #426 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    {OT sad news for Rev BDC: just heard that Merle Saunders died. Cat could groove.}

  423. #427 John Morales
    October 25, 2008

    Eric Atkinson:

    And I’ll keep my estiments of your stupidity to my self.

    This is an epitome of disingenuousness.

  424. #428 glassartbear
    October 25, 2008

    retards

    Very nice. You defend the mother of a child with Down syndrome by calling us “retards”.

    You’re particularly stupid and mean; just exactly the demographic she’s going for.

    Stay classy, joey.

  425. #429 Loraine
    October 25, 2008

    Uugghhh…I cannot stand her! She’s so ignorant, stupid and close minded. Watch how the science and education system in the US gonna be is McCain Palin is elected in 2008. More speaking in tongue thingy in schools (maybe?), less science, music, arts, and more hocus pocus subjects. I’m sooooo over with this woman!

  426. #430 Mike Tafoya
    October 25, 2008

    When facts are misrepresented, this rude, mean attack is the liberal norm. The more you attack Palin, the stronger she gets. Biden says that FDR was president and spoke on TV in 1929? Sorry, FDR was not the president and TV was not in use at the time. We all see the bias. Attack an issue yes, when you name call, your a shallow minded sore loser.
    If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself. Your an embarrassment when you spout such hateful personal attacks. it means you lost the issue and have to go personal. Anyone knows this. grow up already.

  427. #431 txaz
    October 25, 2008

    Palin is the only candidate in this race that shows any common sense! America will be largely socialist with most Americans on welfare if Dems win. That is a very scary thought! WAKE UP AMERICA! Do NOT let Dems take our freedom that was won with much sacrifice.

  428. #432 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Loraine, what facts are being misrepresented?

    Biden’s mistake is not the same as Palin taking a stand against science.

    THinking they are similar is ridiculous.

    If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep it to yourself. Your an embarrassment when you spout such hateful personal attacks. it means you lost the issue and have to go personal. Anyone knows this. grow up already.

    So attacking the stand she is taking is a personal attack?

    What planet are you from and are the drugs really that good there?

  429. #433 A. SANGLE
    October 25, 2008

    I am so disappointed in people that call themselves American. Fifty years ago, no one, NO ONE would have considered speaking so ill of anyone running for the office of President/Vice President in this Country. It really goes to show that a lot of American citizens do NOT APPRECIATE this country nor its leaders.
    God help us if Obama wins – we will end up a third world country – don’t you realize that his entire family is of the Muslim faith?
    We have one God, one flag and that is American. Illegal is illegal anyway you look at it.
    It appalls me to read these blogs and see all the FILTHY language in them. But then again, what do you expect when you guys listen to a BIASED media constantly.

  430. #434 Blake Stacey
    October 25, 2008

    Man, did this post get linked from a site read by a particularly boring variety of aspiring authoritarian followers?

  431. #435 The MadPanda
    October 25, 2008

    Eeegads. When I mentioned some time back that I did wish for a return to decent and worthwhile trolls, rather than these mere piddling D’orcs, I forgot to specify that a D’orc in Troll’s clothing is still just a d’orc.

    Now, of course, we have drive-by d’orcs as well. Don’t these people have praying to do? Makes one wonder.

    SC makes an excellent point. I shall endeavor to remember my Shakespearean Insult Generator should future need arise for casting aspersions hither and yon. For our nattering, web-witted jillanape, thoroughly lambasted at the top of this thread, I can offer nothing of exceeding quality. (Patricia and Bride of Shrek shall remain sluts, for they seem to enjoy the recognition and I admire their wit and flair.)

    Walton, while generally too polite to be a proper troll, has not yet come to the recognition that there are more things out in the real world than are found in his textbooks. The more he types, the more he reminds me of myself when I was his age. Have such mercy as you may, gentles–he’ll grow out of it should he ever have a real-time real-condition test that grades on the consequences.
    (Or he’ll turn into the likes of Rookie, Pilty, or E. Atkinson, at which point we ought to pile on with the +2 Backscratchers and Freeze Arrow spells.)

    The MadPanda, FCD

  432. #436 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    I repeat, does anybody know how and why this thread is drawing so many dopes? Seems quite unusual.

  433. #437 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Sorry that comment was to mike not loraine.

    Palin is the only candidate in this race that shows any common sense!

    You call that common sense? Are you actually listening to what she says or has the Republican cloud completely made it impossible for your to actually hear the things she says?

  434. #438 thalarctos
    October 25, 2008

    psst…Rev…off by 1…

  435. #439 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    psst…Rev…off by 1…

    yeah I know. see post #421

  436. “Listening to her makes MY BRAIN HURT!”

    Watching and listening to her makes my shit hang sideways.

  437. #441 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    I am so disappointed in people that call themselves American. Fifty years ago, no one, NO ONE would have considered speaking so ill of anyone running for the office of President/Vice President in this Country. It really goes to show that a lot of American citizens do NOT APPRECIATE this country nor its leaders.

    You say that then:

    God help us if Obama wins – we will end up a third world country – don’t you realize that his entire family is of the Muslim faith?

    lol, aren’t you the hypocritical one?

  438. #442 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    I repeat, does anybody know how and why this thread is drawing so many dopes? Seems quite unusual.

    PZ was quoted from this thread on Crooks and Liars.

  439. #443 thalarctos
    October 25, 2008

    see post #421

    did you being enough to share? :)

  440. #444 Carlie
    October 25, 2008

    Wow this whole site is full of ignorant politically prejudice hateful retards.

    …And there’s the slur against the mentally disabled. We’re shooting for the whole thing in this thread, aren’t we?

  441. #445 thalarctos
    October 25, 2008

    *bring*, not *being*

    and I haven’t even started drinking yet!

  442. #446 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    I haven’t seen this many drive by idiots (trolls stick around for a second post IMO) since crackergate. I think the rethugs are getting very scared and are trying every sick ploy in the book. Having seen real socialist/communist literature during my college days, I can state that Obama is neither. So our idiots are also liars.

  443. #447 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    Crooks and Liars? That hardly seems likely…I think they use complete sentences and the occasional three-syllable word over there.

  444. #448 Katharine
    October 25, 2008

    HEY GUYS

    IT’S BATSHIT FEST!

  445. #449 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    Wow this whole site is full of ignorant politically prejudice hateful retards.

    It’s not nice to make fun of Scott from Oregon or Eric Atkinson like that…

  446. #450 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Fifty years ago, no one, NO ONE would have considered speaking so ill of anyone running for the office of President/Vice President in this Country.

    Sorry, but if someone running for office continues to display the type of ignorance and low level thinking that Palin does it is our DUTY as americans to rally against it.

    God help us if Obama wins – we will end up a third world country – don’t you realize that his entire family is of the Muslim faith?

    Wrong.

    We have one God, one flag and that is American. Illegal is illegal anyway you look at it.

    No, there is no God. Yes we have one flag but i have no idea how that supports your barely coherent ramblings and stupid is stupid anyway you look at it.

    It appalls me to read these blogs and see all the FILTHY language in them. But then again, what do you expect when you guys listen to a BIASED media constantly.

    Says someone making the above points and who i’d bet 100 to 1 odds is a Fox News watcher.

  447. #451 thalarctos
    October 25, 2008

    …And there’s the slur against the mentally disabled. We’re shooting for the whole thing in this thread, aren’t we?

    Compounded by the irony that it’s the honor of a mother of a baby with Down syndrome that joey is rushing in so chivalrously to defend.

    Let the circular firing squad begin!

  448. #452 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    did you bring enough to share? :)

    Well when it got to be about 4 am last night I think I finished what I had.

    However, there is a fresh fifth in the Kitchen.

  449. #453 Wowbagger
    October 25, 2008

    I repeat, does anybody know how and why this thread is drawing so many dopes? Seems quite unusual.

    I guess one of them got a thrashing here upthread and went off to his/her regular blog – for homophobes/racists/fascists/dominionists etc. – and put out some sort of backward neanderthal rallying cry.

    A. Sangle blathered:

    It appalls me to read these blogs and see all the FILTHY language in them. But then again, what do you expect when you guys listen to a BIASED media constantly.

    You’re a fucking clown shoe, on several levels. There are any number of ways I can insult you without choosing ‘filthy’ language, but why would I need to when the expression ‘clueless shithead’ works perfectly?

  450. #454 joe
    October 25, 2008

    You left wing lunnies will distroy America. Why yahoo is running this link makes me think they will fall with the left in 2010. The republicans wil have to pickup the pieces like in Jimmy Carter era.

  451. #455 Blake Stacey
    October 25, 2008

    Nerd of Redhead:

    I haven’t seen this many drive by idiots (trolls stick around for a second post IMO) since crackergate.

    Ah, those were the days.

    And, silly me, I thought the Dilbert fans had been bad!

  452. #456 Maudie
    October 25, 2008

    It’s a tragedy that she’s so stupid that she doesn’t know how stupid she is. And McCain has got to have rocks for brains because he chose her. He chose her over Bobby Jindal, a Rhodes scholar????? I’m insulted. McCain must think that the majority of Americans are stupid and that the majority of females would vote for her just because she’s a female. Double insulted!!! But then again we did elect George W not once, but twice!! It must be all the lead in the Chinese products we buy that are getting into our brains.

  453. #457 sarah p.
    October 25, 2008

    Apparently scientific community less than pleased over off-hand comment about funding for ridiculous little pet projects like fruit fly research in France. Stand behind comment as is well-known fact that fruit flies do not suffer from autism and therefore cannot be used by IDEA.

    After all, God wouldn’t have given us monkeys if He’d wanted us to experiment on fruit flies. Mentioned this to John and was told never to mention word ‘monkey’ again. Heard him mumble something about keeping “those crazy Creationists” on our side. Was insulted. Just because we look more like monkeys than fruit flies is not support for unproven theory of evolution.

    Love yah!
    The Secret Diary of Sarah Palin

  454. #458 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    Joe, that is Mr. lunnieloony to you. The rest of your post was as intelligent as your spelling. If you want to impress us, try showing better 8th grade education.

  455. #459 Rey Fox
    October 25, 2008

    “We have one God, one flag and that is American. Illegal is illegal anyway you look at it.”

    And the award for Non Sequitur of the Year goes to…

  456. #460 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    You left wing lunnies will distroy America. Why yahoo is running this link makes me think they will fall with the left in 2010. The republicans wil have to pickup the pieces like in Jimmy Carter era

    another drive by

    what is a lunnie anyway.

    And speaking of picking up the pieces, have you been in a coma the last 8 years.

    Fuckhead.

  457. #461 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    You left wing lunnies will distroy America.

    Sweet, I always wondered how I could do that from as far away as Australia!

  458. #462 oakcreek
    October 25, 2008

    I have a hard time compromising Palin’s “pro-life” stand and her demonstrated pleasure of killing/hunting animals.

  459. #463 Ebonvoice
    October 25, 2008

    woody said at October 25, 2008 11:21 AM:

    By the way: Time flie like an arrow; fruit flies like a tomato.

    Maybe so, but I’ve seldon seen someone fly off a tomato peel.

    Definition of irony: An anagram of Sarah Palin is “A Sharp Nail”.

  460. #464 Pierce R. Butler
    October 25, 2008

    This posting was also reproduced at Alternet, a usually progressive and well-edited site with a disappointingly low level (in quality, not number) of comments.

    Hmmm: a quick googlification on “Sarah Palin, Ignoramus, PZ Myers” turns up 227 “English pages”, including Technorati, RepublicansForObama, balloonjuice, The-Reaction, memeorandom, and lots more. The original page here only ranks 11th on the list.

  461. #465 Twin mama
    October 25, 2008

    As a mom of preemie twins this woman has scared me from the beginning. The one of many things she doesn’t know anything about is taking care of special needs kids. That she would put herself as our champion pitting kids and parents against the professionals that we do desperately need and depend on makes me phone swing state mamas for Obama. I do this to make sure I never wake up one morning to turn on the news and find this woman taking the oath of any office that has decision making control over the care and funding of programs for my children. And don’t even start me on civil rights…

    Going now to make more calls!

  462. #466 Will
    October 25, 2008

    I can’t believe that she had the nerve to say something like that. Shame on us.

  463. #467 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    ah, a clue: “yahoo is running this link”
    These people are Yahoos!
    (Me, I’m a proud Lunnie)

  464. #468 DeanThoreau
    October 25, 2008

    Unfortunately you are preachin to the choir. The ignorant do not do much more on their computer than forward spam to one another.

  465. #469 Bluto W Bush
    October 25, 2008

    The Palin/Bush wing of the GOP is remind me the ignorant, uneducated party officials that ran Romania. Ceausescu had an elementary school education. He was merely a cobbler. An ignorant fool somehow became the brutal leader of a nation and ruined it even by communist standards.
    http://eeuropeanhistory.suite101.com/article.cfm/nikolai_ceausescu_and_romania

    “Under Ceausescu, the social infrastructure in Romania severely deteriorated. Widespread persecutions of minorities, like Roma and Hungarians, ensued. (Bideleux and Jeffries, 577) Bans on abortion and contraception were enforced, along with increased taxes for married couples who were childless. As poverty grew, so did the amount of women who died during abortion attempts, the number children who were abandoned, and the populations of poorly-managed and underfunded orphanages. As Romania was paying off its foreign debt, many citizens assumed “hard times” would be short-lived, though the world was shocked at the photographs and reports that came out of Romania after Ceausescu’s execution.”

  466. #470 Druid
    October 25, 2008

    Sarah is in essence The Wicked Witch of the North. Watch and wait and keep ToTo in tow. Simplistic Ignorance is to be feared like the plague that it is. The more we condemn and operate on the lowest of levels the more divisive and effective the ignorance becomes. I fear that none of us will find the Emerald City!

  467. #471 felix
    October 25, 2008

    I have a hard time compromising Palin’s “pro-life” stand and her demonstrated pleasure of killing/hunting animals.

    That’s easy. More life->more animals->more killing.
    Or, as the ignorant, nutty policy of withdrawing funds for all but abstinence-only aid programs in Africa follows:
    more unwanted and unfed children, more STDs->more dead children and adults

    Can’t be said often enough, those who spout Pro-Life the most are the same people who are effectively Anti-Health.
    Those who mean Pro-Health are actually pro-life and pro-choice.

  468. #472 Druid
    October 25, 2008

    Sarah is in essence The Wicked Witch of the North. Watch and wait and keep ToTo in tow. Simplistic Ignorance is to be feared like the plague that it is. The more we condemn and operate on the lowest of levels the more divisive and effective the ignorance becomes. I fear that none of us will find the Emerald City!

  469. #473 felix
    October 25, 2008

    I have a hard time compromising Palin’s “pro-life” stand and her demonstrated pleasure of killing/hunting animals.

    That’s easy. More life->more animals->more killing.
    Or, as the ignorant, nutty policy of withdrawing funds for all but abstinence-only aid programs in Africa follows:
    more unwanted and unfed children, more STDs->more dead children and adults

    Can’t be said often enough, those who spout Pro-Life the most are the same people who are effectively Anti-Health.
    Those who mean Pro-Health are actually pro-life and pro-choice.
    Sorry if this shows as a double-post, did a typo fix.
    P.S. What is the reason so many US citizens appear to have such great difficulties with their own written language?

  470. #474 Maudie
    October 25, 2008

    Was that really you, Gov Palin? If you are reading this, do us all a favor and drop out graciously. You are too one-sided to represent all Americans. Someone in your position needs to represent all of us, not just creationist, evolutionists, pro-life, pro-choice etc. What your motto should be is, “I may not agree with you personally, but I will fight to the end making sure your freedom to believe in what you want to believe under the law is protected”. We are too diverse of people to have someone lead that cannot understand all of us and too narrow-minded to see it.

  471. #475 Jams
    October 25, 2008

    @Charlie

    In what way is “Jams isn’t worth your time” sharper than “kindergarten-level namecalling”? Hypocrisy, it’s not so pretty.

    @SC

    Social convention doesn’t determine what is and what isn’t misogyny. It determines what is profane. At least it’s an argument though. I’ll grant you that.

    How about this. Watch this, then come back with something a little more concrete.

    “Where were those? Those two silly comments you offered? Do you think anyone’s buying your argument about the majority of gendered slurs around here being male-directed? You’re deluded.” – SC

    So, you don’t think there’s anything sexist about saying “most women believe their vaginas are credit cards”? You think that’s just “silly”? I disagree. I think it’s VERY sexist. Explicitly so. Or is it just when such things are said about men that you think it’s “silly”?

    SC, you can be better than typical. Give it a shot.

  472. #476 Li Bai
    October 25, 2008

    I think poster 26 sent this one: “Giving you the benefit of the doubt and assuming that’s not copypasta, this isn’t about Christianity. It’s about Palin being an anti-science fucktard.”

    To you, sir or madam, thank you for a great laugh and congratulations on the invention of a new and wonderful English word. “Fucktard” should reduce any confrontation to tears of aughter.

  473. #477 VMCal
    October 25, 2008

    My belief is she doesn’t support science due to the stance she takes on pro-life issues. If it is discovered that it can be determined a fetus is at risk of developing autism (or any disability) some parents may choose to end the pregnancy. Given she is anti choice for all reasons it would make sense to me that this is the case.

  474. #478 robert searl
    October 25, 2008

    i see comments that only could come from american lips ,about ,she pays more respect to god then fruit flys .now who is right ,her or fruit flies ,i think americans need to examine there beliefs more then what fruit flys can do for them,and maybe god.!

  475. #479 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    i see comments that only could come from american lips ,about ,she pays more respect to god then fruit flys .now who is right ,her or fruit flies ,i think americans need to examine there beliefs more then what fruit flys can do for them,and maybe god.!

    Was there a coherent point in that rambling chopped up mess of words somewhere?

  476. #480 Mike Smith
    October 25, 2008

    Agreed with every bit of this excellent post. Sarah Palin’s views become an item of great concern every single time she goes to speak. It’s one thing to be ignorant of subjects, but it’s another issue when one is ignorant and vehement on coercing everyone into their blatantly incorrect point of view.

  477. #481 liz smith
    October 25, 2008

    If only I could share some of my braincells to the most popular governor of the states..she is pitiful to watch.first her shrill voice that could scare the moose.second, a scripted answer that goes to the bridge of nowhere..unscripted answers that lacks substance that opens a line to Tina Fey for a good night laugh..everytime she opens her mouth with that rolling “r” nuclear, terrorist,ayers..huh…can I add barracuda..it’s plain and simple..conclusion..she is incompetent.as VP if ever elected, just imagine how she would run the country if McCain succumb due to old age..travel around the world with her 5 children and hubby charge to the USgovt..wardrobes for the first family charged to the US govt.,appoints donors,friends,for favors and gifts she got, fire everyone who dare breath against her radar,america…the once greatest nation will be on its own once again..isolated coz she will wage war against any nation that go against america,she will call leaders terrorists if they ever were present where the bombers live even when they were only 8 yrs old..I thought Joseph Estrada is the biggest joke that happened in politics internationally, but no she is the super joke.thanks for breaking the record..

    Liz fr the Philippines

  478. #482 liz smith
    October 25, 2008

    If only I could share some of my braincells to the most popular governor of the states..she is pitiful to watch.first her shrill voice that could scare the moose.second, a scripted answer that goes to the bridge of nowhere..unscripted answers that lacks substance that opens a line to Tina Fey for a good night laugh..everytime she opens her mouth with that rolling “r” nuclear, terrorist,ayers..huh…can I add barracuda..it’s plain and simple..conclusion..she is incompetent.as VP if ever elected, just imagine how she would run the country if McCain succumb due to old age..travel around the world with her 5 children and hubby charge to the USgovt..wardrobes for the first family charged to the US govt.,appoints donors,friends,for favors and gifts she got, fire everyone who dare breath against her radar,america…the once greatest nation will be on its own once again..isolated coz she will wage war against any nation that go against america,she will call leaders terrorists if they ever were present where the bombers live even when they were only 8 yrs old..I thought Joseph Estrada is the biggest joke that happened in politics internationally, but no she is the super joke.thanks for breaking the record..

    Liz fr the Philippines

  479. #483 SC
    October 25, 2008

    @Charlie

    In what way is “Jams isn’t worth your time” sharper than “kindergarten-level namecalling”? Hypocrisy, it’s not so pretty.

    Her name is Carlie, bozo. And she was correct. You’re a waste of time, as you demonstrated so vividly on both the “Hitchens under Torture” and the “An Inspirational Poster” threads.

    Social convention doesn’t determine what is and what isn’t misogyny. It determines what is profane. At least it’s an argument though. I’ll grant you that.

    This discussion has nothing – I repeat, nothing – to do with profanity. It is about abusive language directed at certain groups, particularly minorities.

    “Cunt” and “bitch” are slurs against women as they are used in our society/ies. That is the social meaning given to these terms, as recognized in dictionaries.

  480. #484 Mulder
    October 25, 2008

    Dr. Myers (and other esteemed members of this board):

    In my humble opinion, Ms. Palin’s public statements which deride global warming, evolution and science in general are done deliberately with an ulterior motive.

    When the right wing hijacked this country, they did it with talk radio (Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage etc) – who figured out that appealing to basest instincts of people often produce remarkable results in terms of political capital.

    This denial of science and embrace of chronic anti-intellectualism is simply a way to appeal to the basest instinct in us all – that of ignorance.

    And deliberate ignorance (which produces denial among other things) is a very definitive way to swell republican vote banks.

    Allow me to tell you a little bit about my experience. I am an immigrant to this country (and yes, I look more like Mr. Obama than Mr. McCain ;)), an atheist and I have a PhD in engineering from a decent school and work for a software company. I have colleagues, who are otherwise educated – but cling to delusions regarding religion and denial of science. I have engaged several of them in civil debate and at the end of their tether their arguments boil down to “It’s my faith – right or wrong – logic be damned”. It is exactly this kind of anti-logic, anti-intellectual sentiments which Ms. Palin is targeting for her political ends.Mark my words, she is neither stupid nor is she naive. She is simply another right wing politician out to corner votes en-masse by providing a false sense of validation to some people’s ignorance.

    Have a nice day.

  481. #485 Blake Stacey
    October 25, 2008

    Social convention doesn’t determine what is and what isn’t misogyny. It determines what is profane.

    Picard’s forehead is going to get worn out from all this facepalming.

  482. #486 Stephen Tobias
    October 25, 2008

    I was wondering, does anyone know Sara Palan’s SAT scores?

  483. #487 "Constitution"
    October 25, 2008

    Our Founding Fathers were GENIUSES, thats why they clearly stated in our constitution for the separation of CHURCH and STATE…what we have now is bunch of wacko religious fanatics that try to run the greatest country in the world like its Vatican City. If our population does not wake up from this hypnosis that the far right has put them in…the worst is yet to come…PURE STUPID (bush)YA LOWER CASE!! people are going to be voted into office because “there just like us” no morons vote for someone that is Above and Beyond something that you would ever be…so that when tough choices have to be made they wont FUBAR it and hope that god will watch over us…PALIN IS NOT QUALIFIED!. but for the republican voters and the stay home moms “they can relate”…your all going to go bankrupt while PALIN is going to get millions…”JUST LIKE YOU” hahahahahah…

  484. #488 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    Social convention doesn’t determine what is and what isn’t misogyny.

    ?
    Perhaps Jams’ point is that the crucial test for misogyny is intent? That one could, conceivably, call someone a “cunt” and not intend it misogynistically?
    I mean, that point would be utter horseshit, completely at odds with cultural reality, IMO, but perhaps that’s it.

  485. #489 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    Yahoos of all stripes tonight…

  486. #490 paul
    October 25, 2008

    big shock. dipshit liberals at msnbc try to show a bad side to her.

  487. #491 F Bunting
    October 25, 2008

    Bob Vogel #16:

    The real problem here, PZ, is that there is not a single person in he U.S., including myself, (and I believe in what you are doing and saying here, hands down :) would ever understand what the term “mutagenize” means. Or even care.

    It’s those last three words that are the problem Bob. You don’t have to be a biologist to know that mutagenize just may have to do with “generation of mutations” and thus may have some relevance to, say, cancer research?

    But the problem is the people (like Palin) who believe that what they don’t understand about science (which they admit, almost as a matter of pride, is considerable) can’t be important. “Those scientists, playing with their stupid fruit flies … in Paris, no less!” You shouldn’t have to know, or care what mutagenize means … to consider that scientist may have a good reason, related to benefitting humans, for this research.

    Once again, I am embarrassed by what my country sees as “leaders.”

  488. #492 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    big shock. dipshit liberals at msnbc try to show a bad side to her.

    It’s easy to show the bad side of her. She keeps parading it on TV for us.

  489. #493 SC
    October 25, 2008

    Blake Stacey,

    While you’re around –

    I’ve been wanting to apologize for missing your whole talk at SitP a few weeks ago and for yapping at the end of the bar throughout. I doubt you or anyone else noticed (and I hope we weren’t actually disruptive), but it was rude and I really was interested in what you had to say and sorry to miss it. Jeff and I arrived late and were focused on drinks and food, but that’s not really an excuse. Anyway, sorry. If you give another talk, I’ll take notes :).

  490. #494 SC
    October 25, 2008

    I love how #490 followed the ellipsis in #489.

  491. #495 SLBD
    October 25, 2008

    If you don’t believe in EVOLUTION, I suppose it’s a stretch to believe that fruit fly research could have any applicable meaning for human health…….??

    It’s just so hard for me to grasp that someone so lacking in intellectual curiosity could possibly be the next leader of the free world.

    Anyone else considering moving to France?

  492. #496 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    big shock. dipshit liberals at msnbc try to show a bad side to her.

    She has a good side?

  493. #497 bb
    October 25, 2008

    Your post might have more legitimacy if you didn’t expose some ignorance yourself. I don’t know if you are so upset because your next year is dependent on your own fruit fly research but chill out.

  494. #498 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    Your post might have more legitimacy if you didn’t expose some ignorance yourself. I don’t know if you are so upset because your next year is dependent on your own fruit fly research but chill out.

    Ignorance on what?

    Or are you another drive by?

  495. #499 wiLLoØ
    October 25, 2008

    How could people still possibly vote for her party after that ?

    I think she said enough stupid things to bury her for a long time.

    By the way, I’m French and reading your comments made my day :D.

  496. #500 Eric
    October 25, 2008

    There isn’t a lick of science that demonstrates humans are causing any harm to the atmosphere, so, Governor Palin is correct. Global Warming / Climate Change is a religion, because it has to be taken on faith due to the lack of evidence for it.

  497. #501 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    There isn’t a lick of science that demonstrates humans are causing any harm to the atmosphere, so, Governor Palin is correct.

    Lies!
    http://www.skeptic.com/the_magazine/featured_articles/v14n01_human_induced_climate_change.html
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=science-behind-climate-change

    The scientific consensus is that we are affecting the environment, it’s funny that non-scientists talk about how there’s no science behind it.

  498. #502 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 25, 2008

    There isn’t a lick of science that demonstrates humans are causing any harm to the atmosphere, so, Governor Palin is correct. Global Warming / Climate Change is a religion, because it has to be taken on faith due to the lack of evidence for it.

    The IPCC begs to differ.

  499. #503 Sven DiMilo
    October 25, 2008

    Hi Eric. You’re wrong. Oh, and stupid. But thanks for driving by.
    (As if you care, here are the data on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. Yes, the source of CO2 is humans burning fossil fuels, there is no other possibility. Yes, carbon dioxide absorbs long-wave inrared radiation. That increases the heat content of the atmosphere. This is by any reasonable definition “harm to the atmosphere.” Aaa, what’s the point?)

  500. #504 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    Eric the liar, back to talk about with is and isn’t scientific proof. TSK, TSK. Maybe you should check what various scientific societies think on AGW before your open your yap. You don’t convince scientists without proof.

  501. #505 llewelly
    October 25, 2008

    what the hell is going on here? 501 comments and no hot gay fruit fly porn yet? You guys are the sorriest excuses for liberals I ever did hear of.

  502. #506 constitution
    October 25, 2008

    There isn’t a lick of science that demonstrates humans are causing any harm to the atmosphere, so, Governor Palin is correct. Global Warming / Climate Change is a religion, because it has to be taken on faith due to the lack of evidence for it.

    U R an IDIOT…we are all a little more stupid for reading this…ERIC just do a LITTLE research before comparing RELIGION to Earths core temp. increasing and the ice caps melting…just scary…

  503. #507 RedOctBloom
    October 25, 2008

    Shame on the Republicans for believing in all the garbage that McCain, Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity, and Coulter throw at them. These folks truly treat you as illiterate kids with no minds of your own. The sad part is that most of you are intelligent folks, but you seem to relish in this symbiotic, dysfunctional relationship and in being fooled into believing in these garbled ideas and thinking. The relationship between the general members of the Republican Party and its leaders seems to be same as that between the Germans and the leaders of the Nazi party. It is as if the members want to be misled by their leaders and they want these leaders to lie to them. It is almost as if they do not want to hear the truth, because the truth will reveal their own prejudices and their own shortcomings. Palin has exploited this with great success. She knows that the Republicans do not want to hear the truth. She knows that the Republicans are incapable of any introspection (Otherwise, the Limbaughs, the Hannitys, and the Coulters would not be able to fool them). She knows that the best way to appeal to the Republican Party is to speak to their amygdala (on the contrary, you have to appeal to the Democrats’ frontal cortex). She knows that fear is the dominating emotion of most of the Republican Party members. She knows that most Republicans either do not have the ability to comprehend the ramifications of her divisive messages or are too lazy to explore the issues on their own. She knows that gutter politics turns on the Republican electorate. For the aforementioned reasons I do not blame Palin. She is after all complying with the wishes of her Party. Republicans strongly believe in a black or white world. Grey is incomprehensible, because it requires thinking. Republicans believe that America is perfect and all other member nations of this world are imperfect. I believe that the current Republican Party is gripped in the jaws of intolerance and jingoism. The Party believes that any one who strays from this worldview is either un-American or dangerous.

    It is unfortunate that the media is obsessed with McCain’s tactics. His failure so far has nothing to do with tactics. It has every thing to do with the soul of the Republican Party. The Party’s very soul is in peril and it needs to purge people like the Limbaughs, the Hannitys, and the Coulters from its midst. Some times, you have to cut the hand to save the whole body.

    I appeal to the moderate members of the Republican Party to rise up against their current leaders and to show them that you are indeed capable of thinking on your own. You need to rise above this dismal state of affairs my fellow Americans, and listen to your inner voices. For too long the extreme right of the Party has dimmed your voices. Take heed of my words and rescue your Party’s soul. Otherwise, your Party will be discarded to the annals of our nation in the next decade or two. Alas, I hope it is not too late.

    One last word, true Americans are those who do believe that we are not perfect, and that each day we can make our nation better. Those who believe that we are a perfect nation are the true enemies of this great nation.

  504. #508 Eric Atkinson
    October 25, 2008

    I think Patricia wishes she could grasp any Vienna Sausage.
    Real or not.

    I also bet supporters of AGW wish the science comes any where close to being called a theory.

    But what do I know I’m anti-science as declared by the most holy arbiter of who gets to believe what, Nick Gotts.

  505. #509 Chris
    October 25, 2008

    Thank GOD for Sarah Palin. She is by far the best thing that could have happened for Obama’s campaign (not that he needed the help, but hey, it sure adds to the irony which is always more fun). Proud to say I’m an independent who has already sent in my vote for Obama/Biden 2008!!

  506. #511 SC
    October 25, 2008

    Nick Gotts, MHAoWGTBW

    :)

  507. #512 Kel
    October 25, 2008

    I also bet supporters of AGW wish the science comes any where close to being called a theory.

    The terminology behind it doesn’t matter, but there is strong science behind it which you would find if you looked in any reputable scientific journal or talked to the vast majority of climatologists. The scientists think it’s science, they think the evidence is behind it. It seems that you think you know better than the vast majority in that field…

  508. #513 John Morales
    October 25, 2008

    I also bet supporters of AGW wish the science comes any where close to being called a theory.

    Isn’t AGW a scientific consensus, rather than a scientific theory?

  509. #514 Nerd of Redhead
    October 25, 2008

    EricA, science thinks your opinion on anything scientific is irrelevant, as you show now idea on how science really works. One right scientist beats one million science illiterates any day. Welcome to Science. If you don’t want to be illiterate on science, then you need to listen to what scientists are telling you, not politicians or pundits. That means lurking, not posting for a month or so.

  510. #515 Blake Stacey
    October 25, 2008

    SC (#493):

    I’ve been wanting to apologize for missing your whole talk at SitP a few weeks ago and for yapping at the end of the bar throughout. I doubt you or anyone else noticed (and I hope we weren’t actually disruptive), but it was rude and I really was interested in what you had to say and sorry to miss it. Jeff and I arrived late and were focused on drinks and food, but that’s not really an excuse. Anyway, sorry. If you give another talk, I’ll take notes :).

    I didn’t notice anything, so it’s all OK.

    As for when I give another talk. . . well, we’ll have to see the next time Rebecca runs out of options! :-)

  511. #516 northbritain
    October 25, 2008

    The French fruit fly research she ridiculed concerns the Olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae, not Drosophila sp.

    Nevertheless since the two species are close, the results of the French research may well lead to advances in understanding Drosophila and may bring similar medical advances.

    To say nothing of the damage she has done to the public perception of fruit fly research in general.

  512. #517 Aníbal Ruiz
    October 25, 2008

    I kid you not: this woman is a jerk

  513. #518 shonny
    October 25, 2008

    –Posted by: Nick Gotts | October 25, 2008 10:22 AM #215 —

    Nick, that is such an excellent take on the issues of capitalism and socialism, free trade and monopolies that it should really be taught in schools.
    No political system is prefect, but some are less horrible than others.

    Lived my first 36 years in Norway, and the next 26 in Australia, and have experienced the difference between a socially egalitarian society (Norway) and a largely greed-driven society (Western Australia).
    There is no black and white difference between the two places, and a lot has changed, but I always remember the Scandinavian emphasis on quality of life as different from living standard, where the first is measuring your mental and physical well-being, whereas the latter is looking at your material needs.
    Scandinavia has long had a tradition of noblesse oblige in the sense that with wealth, power and prestige come responsibilities. (The old noblesse used the term mostly for obligations towards others in the same social strata as themselves).
    So maybe a bit of the Scandinavian style socialism (looking after and helping the disadvantaged in the society) could remedy some of the ills of US society, and put an end to the dog-eat-dog approach of the repugnican rednecks?
    But no reason to hold one’s breath!

  514. #519 Rey Fox
    October 25, 2008

    “They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls — recorded messages often used to attack a candidate’s opponent — “irritating” even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign’s decision to pull out of Michigan. ”

    She better stop it, or I might gain a modicum of respect for her.

  515. #520 shonny
    October 25, 2008

    If you mean England then say England, if you mean the United Kingdom then say United Kingdom, but please stop insulting your Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish readers by ignoring them.

    Ouh, you mean Welsh is a word on its own? All I ever heard was Welsh git :^) And that said gits like singing.

    One exception was a local one. He couldn’t sing, but could be used as as a garden gnome (one of them grumpy ones).

  516. #521 Luke
    October 25, 2008

    I just received one of those republican smear emails (now targeting Michelle Obama) sent to me through one of those “forward-all-smear-emails” republicans.
    This time I wrote a response (because I know the guy who forwarded it, and I feel sorry that he is a misguided, but otherwise OK person who is unable to look through these Karl Rove tactics). Feel free to use whatever you want to take from it next time YOU receive this Republican trash:

    ———–Quote
    Here is another one back at you.

    Republicans talk about “patriotism”. Maybe someone can explain to me what is patriotic about the fact that tens of thousands of Americans die prematurely each year because they could not afford health care, and no republican seems to give a damn.

    Republicans talk about lowering my taxes. And indeed, I actually saved some money with George “Dubya” Bush.
    At the same time, I have now lost about 100 times that amount from my 401k and my investments because of that bonehead’s destructive policies. And if McNoBrain makes it to the White House, he is just going to continue the destruction of our economy, straight for the abyss.

    Sh*t-for-brains Palin does not believe in Evolution, she believes the world is not older than 5000 years and that mankind once co-existed with the dinosaurs, using them as riding horses. Science proves her dead-wrong, but Palin does not believe in science. Problem is of course that science and engineering have placed this nation on top of the world for the last 100 years. Thanks to Palin and her science-denouncing compadres like Bubba Dubya and McNoBrain, we will be lucky if we even make it to the fifth place in that list for the next 100 years, with countries like China, India, Russia and Europe soon beating the crap out of us.

    McNoBrain selected barbie-doll Palin as his running mate because he believed women are stupid enough to vote for her just because she is a woman. At the same time, competence was thrown out of the door. That’s not Country First, that’s Election First. Of course, if McCain would kick the bucket during his reign, Palin would become the president of the mightiest country on earth, a woman with the experience (and “mean-girl” attitude) of a high school cheerleader.
    McNoBrain did not care about the impact such a numbskull president would have on this country. Because, hey, what does he care, he would be DEAD if that happens, right? And THAT calls himself a patriot??? Despicable. People should be smarter than to vote for Machiavellians like that.

    I can give you another 50 or so of these examples, but I think the message is clear.

    Please do not email me Republican smear like this any more. This great country deserves much better than that. We ALL should demand much more from our leaders, don’t short-change yourself!
    ————- endquote

  517. #522 MThayer
    October 25, 2008

    just driving by…one other point to consider is the revitalization of the age old conflict of the religous wars that brought this country to what it is today…see http://rip-and-read.blogspot.com/2008/08/fourth-cousins-war-according-to.html as an intro to this tangential thread

  518. #523 Bob
    October 25, 2008

    I will be so glad when everyone of you gets your wish of having Obama as your next President. Then you will have to deal with your three favorite Dems: Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. It will be amusing to listen to all the crying that will go on after a couple of years of their being in office as they mess up this country even more than it is right now. We’re in the toilet now, but will be in sewer when they get in.

  519. #524 DrosophilaIsMyFriend
    October 26, 2008

    Hey, the most useful stuff I learned when I was studying genetics was from fruit flies. And as part of a winery family, I gotta say that the more research done on vineyard pests the better. We lost 70 percent of our vineyard to glossy-winged sharpshooters, and the bottom line wasn’t pretty.
    Seriously, what’s wrong with our educational process that we have ended up with such a large anti-science segment of the population? To me, this is very very scary.

  520. #525 Camboy
    October 26, 2008

    Dear SC:
    Sarah Palin is a dumb bitch and a stupid cunt. She is also a dumb cunt and a stupid bitch.

    Now, please stop reading this blog, and never comment here again, like you said you would. Because no one with intelligence is interested in conversing with a hypersensitive humorless twat.

  521. #526 Julie Stahlhut
    October 26, 2008

    Olive fruit flies don’t belong to the genus Drosophila; they’re actually in another taxonomic family, the “true fruit flies”, Tephritidae. If this is indeed the research that Palin was dissing, she doesn’t even have the excuse of not understanding (or believing) the rationale behind using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. Olive fruit fly is an invasive European species that damages crops in its native range and has been turning up in California.

    In other words, Sarah Palin thinks it’s a waste of money to study a biological phenomenon that can cause losses to American businesses.

    Good Zarquon, would you buy a used brain from this woman?

  522. #527 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 26, 2008

    Camboy.

    FUCK OFF!

    It is easy enough to point out the foolishness that is Sarah Palin without using bitch or cunt. And most people who use those words on a regular basis tend to be very misogynist. SC has been right to call some people out on this.

    Now as for you telling SC to leave and never comment again, I have this question; WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU? SC has been here since I started coming here. She is part of what makes this site special for me and I want her around. What have you contributed? I do not recall your moniker at all.

    You are just a stupid little git who is upset that a woman called you on your game. And then your cry out at the top of your lungs. Grow up you sad little fucker.

  523. #528 Tom
    October 26, 2008

    Just how often does your “democratic” system need to fail you before you Americans realize that your system of government is 200 years out of date?

    Instead of debating policies, you focus on patriotism. When will you grow up and face the real issues that are screwing your country?

    Presidential politics US-style will continue to deliver you with the “lesser of two evils”.

    American “democracy” clearly doesn’t work.

  524. #529 Jimmy Joe
    October 26, 2008

    I love Palin.

    I think she will make a great VP and after that President.

    What is strange in this election is how much time we spend talking about her?

    Maybe it is because when we compare Barack Obama to John Mcain he just does not match up?

  525. #530 Patricia
    October 26, 2008

    Piss off Camboy – BOY you are, git!
    You think you can fuck around with SC, well bring it on BOY. I’ll stick a sugar tit up your ass, short pants.

  526. #531 Kel
    October 26, 2008

    What is strange in this election is how much time we spend talking about her?

    Because Obama has had two years of public vetting, McCain has been in the spotlight for decades, Palin is an unknown who hasn’t been vetted in any way. Her pick is a media circus of it’s own.

  527. #532 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 26, 2008

    Posted by: Jimmy Joe | October 26, 2008

    What is strange in this election is how much time we spend talking about her?

    This is not strange at all. First, John McCain has a greater chance than most other candidates to die in office. Palin has a good chance of being president if her ticket wins.

    Second, picking such an unimpressive person person show McCain’s decision making abilities. If he goes so wrong on this, where else is he going to show bad judgment?

  528. #533 Craig
    October 26, 2008

    Now, now – she’s doing her best.

    Perhaps using less inflammatory language would help ideas get past her defenses…

    “fruit flies”

    Kind of makes you think ‘homosexual’, don’t it?

    And that darned French connection – gosh, those frogs are un-American.

    I think if we call them “freedom flies” and quickly shout, “Look, there’s a witch!”, we might sneak it past her.

    She’s one of the most monstrously awful people I’ve encountered. McCain’s nomination of her reminds me of a monkey flinging poo.

  529. #534 Phil Boncer
    October 26, 2008

    The problem is that we do NOT get “to choose between the 21st century rationalism and Dark Age inanity”. We “get” to choose between 19th century socialism and Dark age inanity: two equally damaging and discredited philosophies. Obama talks better, but his vision is just as damaging as hers is. It ought to be an easy choice, but it isn’t.

    We desperately need some better alternatives to both of them. Proportional representation, viable third parties, IRV or other voting systems that actually are capable of determining what people actually want; these are reforms we really need, so as to get out of the ongoing situation of being stuck for the lesser of two evils every damn time. I can’t remember a presidential election where both major party candidates didn’t suck.

    PhilB

  530. #535 Kel
    October 26, 2008

    I can’t remember a presidential election where both major party candidates didn’t suck.

    Clinton didn’t suck, he just got blown.

  531. #536 MNJ
    October 26, 2008

    You are so quick to jump on the media attack band-wagon that you neglected to listen to the facts of what she is really talking about…!

    The pork barrel spending on fly research that Palin is talking about is aimed to study affect that flies have on olive plants in California… it has nothing to do medical research!

    And the point of her speech is taken totally out of context. The point of the speech was to criticize how Washington (both republicans and democrats alike) holds up important legislation to fund special pet projects (a.k.a. pork barrell spending). Check out what she was REALLY talking about at this URL… http://www.cagw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reports_pigbook2008

    Hmmm… I guess that makes PALIN smarter than most of YOU that have commented on this BLOG.

  532. #537 thgthg
    October 26, 2008

    I am afraid the problem is much bigger than Palin. In any civilized country, it is expected of a candidate for a high office to be minimally literate. In our country, 37% of the population believe that she can be a president just fine. Any vice-presidential candidate would have been kicked out of politics forever for saying that Democratic-leaning states are anti-American, she gets away with literally anything. Watch, Rush and Ann Coulter will make her the next Republican partee nominee for president. Lies need to be really big to be believed – said Goebbels. And Palin is a student of this wisdom.

  533. #538 thgthg
    October 26, 2008

    And we all thought it could have not gotten worse than W! We will miss his intellectualism when we end up with President Sarah Palin!

  534. #539 Jams
    October 26, 2008

    “It is about abusive language directed at vaguely associated with certain groups, particularly minorities not including men, or white people, or rich people.” – SC

    Absurd.

  535. #540 Wowbagger
    October 26, 2008

    MNJ, #536, whined:

    The pork barrel spending on fly research that Palin is talking about is aimed to study affect that flies have on olive plants in California… it has nothing to do medical research!

    Considering there are numerous mentions upthread about the planned growth of the olive industry in California, a sensible person might think you should have realised it’s actually somewhat important, economically, to do this kind of research.

    Fucking tool.

  536. #541 John Morales
    October 26, 2008

    Jams, I suggest that you and SC have well and truly reached the point of diminishing returns regarding this issue, and that anyone interested is by now well aware of your respective viewpoints and has formed their own opinion. And, not to pick sides, I offer the same suggestion to SC in the converse.

    Note that I’m herein trying to interject as a disinterested party.

  537. #542 SC
    October 26, 2008

    Posted by: Camboy | October 26, 2008 12:25 AM

    Posted by: Jams | October 26, 2008 2:14 AM

    I’m not wasting any more time on these odious creeps.

    Your neutrality is noted, John. Be sure to keep that in mind the next time the conversation turns to dumb spics. Bardus.

  538. #543 SC
    October 26, 2008

    Janine and Patricia,

    I’m beyond flattered – really overwhelmed. Thank you for coming to my defense.

  539. #544 MNJ
    October 26, 2008

    WOW, Wowbagger! You really impress me with your slick cursing and your ability to MISS THE POINT COMPLETELY!

    Palin’s criticism is aimed at PORK BARREL SPENDING!! Do you know what THAT is? That is when federal funds (OUR tax dollars) are being wasted on stupid things like the Shedd Aquarium in Illinois. I guess I forgot how important that aquarium is to me in MY state. That $1.6M (appropriated by Senators Durbin and Obama) really does a lot of good for MY state and our country (NOT)! That is not how I want MY WEALTH to be spread around!

    Now how’s THAT for whining?!

  540. #545 satsumajin
    October 26, 2008

    Vote McCain/Palin! — after 8 years of Dubya the world needs something to laugh at… ;-)

  541. #546 Ichthyic
    October 26, 2008

    Palin’s criticism is aimed at PORK BARREL SPENDING!! Do you know what THAT is?

    well, you might not know what it really is, but you sure know where the caps-lock key is on your keyboard alrighty.

    suggest you stop using the computer and go back to watching Oprah.

  542. #547 John Morales
    October 26, 2008

    SC, because I respect you I feel I should clarify, even though I’m probably digging my own hole deeper and losing any remaining respect you have for me.

    1. I was a migrant to Australia from Spain in 1972 (age 11), and once at school was the recipient of various epithets such as spic, dago etc. Yes, it bugged* me (once I understood the meaning and intent of the insults) and led to physical confrontation (even expulsion at one point).

    2. I disagree with both you and Jams (and I suppose that technically makes me not neutral, but I hope you understand what I mean). I don’t think there’s a distinction in invective between correct and incorrect, appropriate or inappropriate (or if there is, it’s situation-specific) – one is either using vulgarity or is not.

    3. In my experience, insults are just colloquial* labels and generally not understood to be literal or gendered. Admittedly, both males and females are called “cunt” or “twat”, whilst only males are called “dick” or “prick” – but I think this reflects an unthinking acculturation more than any conscious sexism.

    4. The intent of such invective can be generally inferred from context, and hence I consider that the same term can, depending on context, be either sexist or not (i.e. it often is is functionally just a label that each interlocutor recognises as an insult). So I consider that your implicit claim that there is a set of sexist and non-sexist insults fails.

    5. I believe I understand why the sexism of some epithets riles you, and so have sympathy for your exasperation whilst recognising that many who employ them are probably unaware of the implicit sexism. Which I think is a point Jams made.

    6. Referring back to #105, I confess that I don’t understand your claim that “cunt” is sexist but “douchebag” is not – for the reasons I stated in that post and given my own inexperience with actually employing such terminology.

    End of rant.

    * the vernacular :)

  543. #548 brooks
    October 26, 2008

    Posted by MNJ, #534:

    WOW, Wowbagger! Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah MISS THE POINT COMPLETELY!

    Palin’s blah blah blah blah PORK BARREL SPENDING!! Blah blah blah blah THAT blah? Blah blah blah blah blah (OUR blah blah) blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Shedd Aquarium in Illinois. Blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah MY blah. Blah $1.6M (blah blah Senators Durbin and Obama) blah blah blah blah blah blah blah MY blah blah blah blah (NOT)! Blah blah blah blah Blah blah MY WEALTH blah blah blah blah!

    Blah blah THAT blah blah?!

    When you put it like that, it’s hard not to agree.

  544. #549 The Chemist
    October 26, 2008

    Regarding nabalzbbfr @ #292,

    I’d like to call Poe, anyone second?

  545. #550 SC
    October 26, 2008

    1. I was a migrant to Australia from Spain in 1972 (age 11), and once at school was the recipient of various epithets such as spic, dago etc. Yes, it bugged* me (once I understood the meaning and intent of the insults) and led to physical confrontation (even expulsion at one point).

    Well, maybe there’s something about the meaning or intent that you’re still not understanding in this case.

    2. I disagree with both you and Jams (and I suppose that technically makes me not neutral, but I hope you understand what I mean). I don’t think there’s a distinction in invective between correct and incorrect, appropriate or inappropriate (or if there is, it’s situation-specific) – one is either using vulgarity or is not.

    I have no idea what you’re trying to say here, but this has zero to do with vulgarity.

    3. In my experience, insults are just colloquial* labels and generally not understood to be literal or gendered. Admittedly, both males and females are called “cunt” or “twat”, whilst only males are called “dick” or “prick” – but I think this reflects an unthinking acculturation more than any conscious sexism.

    Come on. It isn’t men who are being called cunts and twats around here, and when they are, it is an insult precisely because it’s a term for women or female genitalia, like pussy. I know you have an aversion to dictionaries, despite your professed love of words, but Jesus fucking christ – I posted no fewer than four links to dictionary defnitions for these words. “Cunt” is defined as a derogatory term for women. To make this more explicit – definition for cunt at Dictionary.com: “Disparaging and Offensive. a. a woman.” Are you claiming your understanding trumps that of several dictionaries?

    4. The intent of such invective can be generally inferred from context, and hence I consider that the same term can, depending on context, be either sexist or not (i.e. it often is is functionally just a label that each interlocutor recognises as an insult). So I consider that your implicit claim that there is a set of sexist and non-sexist insults fails.

    Again, see the dictionary defnitions. And please point me to the instances here in which “dumb cunt,” “stupid bitch,” or “humorless twat” were not misogynistic.

    5. I believe I understand why the sexism of some epithets riles you,

    I thought epithets themselves couldn’t be sexist.

    and so have sympathy for your exasperation whilst recognising that many who employ them are probably unaware of the implicit sexism. Which I think is a point Jams made.

    I don’t think it is, but see Sven’s comment above. In any event, I did not say that in every case these words are used with conscious misogynistic intent. They are still antifemale slurs. I objected to the use of the words and the hostile environment this created. I didn’t claim that everyone who uses them is a raging misogynist (though many, as we’ve seen, are). Please refer back to my final comments on the “An Inspirational Poster” thread if you still don’t understand. So if you understand and sympathize with my annoyance at the use of sexist language, then we agree, and you aren’t neutral after all.

    6. Referring back to #105, I confess that I don’t understand your claim that “cunt” is sexist but “douchebag” is not – for the reasons I stated in that post and given my own inexperience with actually employing such terminology.

    You were arguing from ignorance, and trying to deduce the social meaning for the word from what it denotes, but this failed because it doesn’t work like this. It would seem reasonable to expect that “douche” or “douchebag” would have developed into misogynistic slurs, but for whatever reason this hasn’t been the case. They’re more commonly applied to males, and they’re not generally seen as offensive to/by women. Before I posted my response to your comment, I did a quick online search, and the discussions I found among other women confrimed this. I would be happy to consider evidence to the contrary.

  546. #551 Rey Fox
    October 26, 2008

    I think what MNJ is trying to say is “MY MONEY ME ME ME MINE MINE MINE!” Thanks for your contribution.

    Jimmy:
    “I think she will make a great VP and after that President.”

    Why?

  547. #552 Messire Loup
    October 26, 2008

    Yes, there is “Fruit fly research in Paris, France.” We also raise bees on top of the Opera House because they are an excellent indicator of pollution levels.
    When you have the IQ of a doorknob, you can’t understand those things.
    I hope she never, EVER makes it to the White House.
    A frenchie who loves science.

  548. #553 Walton
    October 26, 2008

    Nick Gotts: Did you miss my reply to you at #335? (It seems to have got buried amidst a flood of posts this morning.)

  549. #554 MNJ
    October 26, 2008

    Well yea it is my money because I actually work my butt off for it. I’d prefer not waste a penny of it on people like you guys who think you’re entitled to it. And if I had the time and was stupid enouth to watch Oprah, then I might also be dumb enough to vote for B.O. But I think that capitalism is much better than socialism, so I won’t be voting for Barry.

  550. #555 SC
    October 26, 2008

    It’s cool that so many French people are dropping in. Welcome. :)

    Y’know, it’s interesting: PhysioProf and truth machine are veritable fonts of profanity and insults. And yet, while I may have cringed once or twice while reading, I’ve never been offended by what they said or thought them racist or sexist. And yet people here are claiming misunderstandings or a simple lack of intent on the part of those using derogatory slurs. I submit that these excuses are largely nonsense.

  551. #556 Max Renn
    October 26, 2008

    Posted by: MNJ | October 26, 2008 3:17 AM

    Now how’s THAT for whining?!

    Salty. Weak, but salty.

  552. #557 Wowbagger
    October 26, 2008

    MNJ whined (even more):

    Palin’s criticism is aimed at PORK BARREL SPENDING!! Do you know what THAT is? That is when federal funds (OUR tax dollars) are being wasted on stupid things like the Shedd Aquarium in Illinois.

    Our tax dollars? That seems a little unlikely, since I live in Australia. But hey, feel free to complain on my behalf.

    Asshat.

  553. #558 clinteas
    October 26, 2008

    Shit,am I late to this party or what….

    Clinton didn’t suck, he just got blown.

    Nice one !!!

    Just to flog a dead horse a lil :(Hello SC..:-) )

    I confess that I don’t understand your claim that “cunt” is sexist but “douchebag” is not

    Well,its ok for McCain !

    http://showhype.com/video/did_john_mccain_just_say_the_c_word_on_live_tv/

  554. #559 hornplayinpianist
    October 26, 2008

    Sarah Palin a-peels tuhmee cuz her purnowncis wirds lahk reel murkins dew: “nucular” and “eye-rack” and “eye-ran”

    yall quit picin awan her

  555. #560 Ruprecht
    October 26, 2008

    @ #15, Patricia | October 24, 2008 10:36 PM
    I’m from the Netherlands and I can assure you that we have our share of, let’s say, intellectually challenged politicians too. Stupidity is the basic building block of the universe, as Frank Zappa said.

  556. #561 Ramonito Solomonito
    October 26, 2008

    The problem with all of the above participants they don’t talked sense at all. What’s your problem with Sarah Palin? Who after the election, winner or loser will migrae to Pakistan to be its First Lady. Remember, that dumb idiot of Pakistan liked her? No need to debate about Sarah as she will no longer be in the US of A after 4th November, surely she will be a Pakistani after that, Todd will be a single father and who knows, might be next Gov of Alaska and the President in 2012?

  557. #562 Ramonito Solomonito
    October 26, 2008

    The problem with all of the above participants they don’t talked sense at all. What’s your problem with Sarah Palin? Who after the election, winner or loser will migrae to Pakistan to be its First Lady. Remember, that dumb idiot of Pakistan liked her? No need to debate about Sarah as she will no longer be in the US of A after 4th November, surely she will be a Pakistani after that, Todd will be a single father and who knows, might be next Gov of Alaska and the President in 2012?

  558. #563 Robert Scheppy
    October 26, 2008

    A university actually hired a jerk like PZ Myers to teach young students? He expresses himself like a nerdball, hurling personal insults.

  559. #564 Species 2
    October 26, 2008

  560. #565 John Morales
    October 26, 2008

    @SC, the fact that I’m having to look this up* to respond leads me to concede I’m basically arguing from ignorance. What I find is less than definitive, though I’ve just checked with my wife (who does have a B.Ed. in English and she supports my interpretation).

    Regarding point 2, I was trying to indicate that I don’t see how a subset of vulgarities is non-<XXX>ist but what to me seems a similar subset is not. I obviously failed.

    Anyway, I’ll shut up about this issue henceforth.

    Finally, I don’t have an aversion to dictionaries (which I literally used to read when at school), but to spellcheckers.

    * Specifically, the term “cunt”, which I’d be more than happy for women to reclaim. And it’s not that easy to look up, I get drowned in a sea of opinion rather than references. I had originally looked at the Wikipedia entry on that word and thought it supported my original opinion (“used informally as a derogatory epithet in referring to either sex”), as well as my dead tree dictionary (New Shorter Oxford, 1993) – “2. A very unpleasant or stupid person”.
    OTOH, based on your comment, I’ve just looked at dictionary.com (“a. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a woman. b. Used as a disparaging term for a person one dislikes or finds extremely disagreeable.”) and webster online (“usually disparaging & obscene: woman”) both of which support your opinion.

  561. #566 Wowbagger
    October 26, 2008

    Robert Scheppy, clueless asshole #563, wrote:

    A university actually hired a jerk like PZ Myers to teach young students? He expresses himself like a nerdball, hurling personal insults.

    Does this look like a classroom, laboratory or lecture theatre to you, shit-for-brains? What, you can’t comprehend that someone can act one way while he’s teaching and another on his personal blog?

    Where are these dumbasses coming from? It’s like someone’s sent out for fresh idiots.

  562. #567 lars
    October 26, 2008

    No, I am corrected about the purpose of the grant. It was for olive fruit fly research, some of which went to Paris.

    I don’t think they grow olives in Alaska, and if they do have fruit flies I’m sure they hunt them from helicopters with NRA approved earmark subsidized assault rifles.

    It doesn’t matter if it was genetic research or pests on crops, it’s about McCain/palin ticket attitude on science, McCain have pounded >those poor grizzly bears since 2003 and think he just so funny. They don’t seems to understand that if you don’t if you don’t allow a broad search for knowledge you neither get the ground breaking really valuable stuff. Much scientific advances have been side effects.
    http://www.salon.com/env/feature/2008/10/07/john_mccain_bears/

  563. #568 Dave Wisker
    October 26, 2008

    Julie Stahlhut wites:

    Olive fruit flies don’t belong to the genus Drosophila; they’re actually in another taxonomic family, the “true fruit flies”, Tephritidae. If this is indeed the research that Palin was dissing, she doesn’t even have the excuse of not understanding (or believing) the rationale behind using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism. Olive fruit fly is an invasive European species that damages crops in its native range and has been turning up in California.

    In other words, Sarah Palin thinks it’s a waste of money to study a biological phenomenon that can cause losses to American businesses.

    So what kind of Republican is this nitwit Palin anyway? Isn’t it a bedrock tenet of the Republican party that what is good for business is good for the people? So how can she say that this research does not contribute to the public good?

  564. #569 Carlie
    October 26, 2008

    I confess that I don’t understand your claim that “cunt” is sexist but “douchebag” is not
    I can throw in on this one: Douching is something that was created because women were thought to be dirty, especially in their sexual parts. The act of doing it actually leads to yeast infections more often than not, because it disturbs the natural pH and floral balance. Therefore, douche is ok as a slur because it refers to something awful and unnecessary and damaging. You could use “required episiotomy” the same way, I suppose, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.

  565. #570 Richard Breault
    October 26, 2008

    Certainly glad that all the politicians already in Washington are so smart that we will never have to worry about a housing bubble or finanical crisis in this country.

  566. #571 clinteas
    October 26, 2008

    A university actually hired a jerk like PZ Myers to teach young students? He expresses himself like a nerdball, hurling personal insults.

    Hey,whats a nerdball??
    Now then Scheppy(is that like Skippy?),you have witnessed Dr Myers hurling personal insults in class? Being a jerk towards students,even young(juicy,underage) students?

    Oh? You havent? Just hateposting? Ah…I thought so….never mind,carry on then…

  567. #572 Felis Domesticus
    October 26, 2008

    Is Sarah Palin stuck on stupid?? Even we common folk know that experimentation is necessary to make discoveries and you do not always discover what you are looking for, sometimes you get surprised and find something really useful. Like the vaccine for Polio, Measles, Smallpox which was derived from “cowpox”, Penicillan, treatments for Cancer, etc. Someday, they may even find a cure for “Down’s Syndrome”. And when you print something that describes another by a latin name, of course we the “ordinary” folk are going to pull out the dictionary! Who wants to sound like Palin? Tis better to look it up than to spout something that is totally stoopid!

  568. #573 Felis Domesticus
    October 26, 2008

    I hirden går én,
    som er bare til mén.
    Tro ham vârt,
    han er ond og svart.

    Translation Please? Quite a few of us are not bi-lingual.

  569. #574 Marc
    October 26, 2008

    I wonder how many who are opposed to Palin voted for Bush Jr, TWICE? I just wonder, that’s all. I suspect that a sizable percentage of those with righteous indignation towards Palin actually voted for the current idiot in the white house. What does it have to do with anything? Well, for one, it shows that they are hypocrits. And, two, they are as stupid as they claim Palin to be.

  570. #575 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 26, 2008

    A university actually hired a jerk like PZ Myers to teach young students? He expresses himself like a nerdball, hurling personal insults.

    Palin is all of these and some

    This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod,

    Calling someone who is displaying the attributes of a moron a moron is not a personal insult. It’s the truth.

    For example, you sir or madam are an idiot. An idiot who comes an complains about personal insults while calling someone a jerk and a “nerdball” (whatever the hell that is).

  571. #576 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 26, 2008

    I wonder how many who are opposed to Palin voted for Bush Jr, TWICE? I just wonder, that’s all. I suspect that a sizable percentage of those with righteous indignation towards Palin actually voted for the current idiot in the white house. What does it have to do with anything? Well, for one, it shows that they are hypocrits. And, two, they are as stupid as they claim Palin to be.

    Are you trying to suggest people here did?

  572. #577 azgreatgram
    October 26, 2008

    One has to wonder how she gave birth to 5 children if she is this stupid. Do you suppose she also thought you laid an egg and sat on it? Who knows, she is fooling a lot of people.

  573. #578 Frank McCarley
    October 26, 2008

    Ro 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    Romans chapter 2

    1 ¶ Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
    2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

  574. #579 Kel
    October 26, 2008

    One has to wonder how she gave birth to 5 children if she is this stupid.

    Too stupid to use contraception ;)

  575. #580 saint
    October 26, 2008

    Why are your congressmen asking for earmarks – that’s U.S. taxpayer dollars – to fund fruit fly research in France? Why can’t the French fund their own research with their own tax payer dollars?

  576. #581 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 26, 2008

    Frank McCarly.

    Go away. Quoting scripture means nothing more than you can read.

    Nothing More.

  577. #582 Vlo
    October 26, 2008

    See what the Hillary supporters were saying about Palin:
    http://stargasbord.com/2008/10/switching-sides-why-hillary-clinton.html

  578. #583 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 26, 2008

    See what the a very small amount of disgruntled Hillary supporters were saying about Palin:

    fixed it for you

  579. #584 Dan Urgo
    October 26, 2008

    Did Sarah Palin believe in more support for children with disabilities BEFORE she had a baby with Down’s syndrome???

    John McCain favors yet MORE trade relations with a country (China) that actively sanctions and even FORCES abortion in the ninth month of pregnancy.

    So much for ‘pro-life’.

    These two are the biggest danger to democracy our country has ever know and could give a $hit about abortion as long as they get into office.

    I hope Palin gets knocked up AGAIN and has a stupid kid with a rotten temper that looks like McCain.

    Why Forced Abortions Persist in China
    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1615936,00.html

  580. #585 Bunnie
    October 26, 2008

    Palin is the most stupid person ever to hit the political stage. I cannot believe anyone is stupid enough to vote this bubblehead into office. She is an embarrasment to the USA. This Republican is voting for intelligence. Obama./Biden

  581. #586 Bob Carroll
    October 26, 2008

    What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin with a fruit fly?
    A schlafly.

  582. #587 Nerd of Redhead
    October 26, 2008

    Bob Carroll, if I had been drinking coffee it would all over the monitor.

  583. #588 Richard75219
    October 26, 2008

    Why are people upset or surprised by Palin’s remarks? All politicians pander to the hoi polloi. She is just another rabble-rousing political hack, and there are 100s more just like her standing in line.

  584. #589 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 26, 2008

    Why are people upset or surprised by Palin’s remarks? All politicians pander to the hoi polloi. She is just another rabble-rousing political hack, and there are 100s more just like her standing in line.

    Yes and the correct response to someone running for her office that says the idiotic things she says is to just say “Bah everybody does it”. When in truth not everyone does.

    Great idea Richard.

  585. #590 saint
    October 26, 2008

    BTW, for all of you slagging off Palin. What makes us laugh down here in Australia is Obama’s great judgment in selecting Biden.

    Has there ever been such an idiot in high office in all of U.S. political history?

    Roosevelt was president in 1929 and people had televisions? The U.S and French kicking Hezboallah out of Lebanon? The guy who spouts wall-to-wall bullshit at every interview and says he’s gonna hold Obama’s hand when he gets tested?

    You could down a tonne of magic mushrooms and still not get close to the planet that guy is on.

    And what next? Oprah as ambassador to St James?

  586. #591 Nick Gotts
    October 26, 2008

    The ludicrous piece of denialist garbage linked to by Eric Atkinson@510 is comnprehensively debunked at:
    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/lorne-gunter-and-the-national-pest-debunked-again/.
    I invite people to read both, and the links from both, and make up their own minds.

  587. #592 scooter
    October 26, 2008

    Posted by: Sven DiMilo @ 426
    OT sad news for Rev BDC: just heard that Merle Saunders died.

    BUMMER!!!

    He was in Houston about 10 years ago, my freind who does the Dead show got a hold of him and we went to the hotel and interviewed him in the coffee shop for about an hour.

    VERY VERY nice laid back guy. Totally cool, he could really pump a B-3.

    That old Merle and Jerry album is a classic

  588. #593 scooter
    October 26, 2008

    and the non-sequitor award for this thread goes to….

    azgreatgram :One has to wonder how she gave birth to 5 children if she is this stupid.

    on a biology related blog, no less

  589. #594 thalarctos
    October 26, 2008

    Now, please stop reading this blog, and never comment here again, like you said you would.

    LOL! Look, numbnuts, SC has a long track record of insightful, deeply analytical, well-argued, and witty posts here.

    All you’ve shown is attempting to stifle her free speech and misogynistic insults. Given the baseline level of commentary here, you’d be missed a lot less than she would.

    Besides, if all you want to do is spew gender-related insults, there’s tons of other blogs you can go to where you won’t be called on your shit.

    On the other hand, really over-the-top misogyny in comments has gotten people banned by PZ, so you could just keep it up.

    Posted by: Camboy | October 26, 2008 12:25 AM

    Posted by: Jams | October 26, 2008 2:14 AM

    I’m not wasting any more time on these odious creeps.

    Exactly right, SC: Numb and Number aren’t worth the time you’d waste on them.

  590. #595 Carlie
    October 26, 2008

    Well yea it is my money because I actually work my butt off for it. I’d prefer not waste a penny of it on people like you guys who think you’re entitled to it.

    Ok, fine. Don’t drive on my roads, though; my taxes paid for them. And don’t use my ambulance, fire, or police services if you need them, either; go hire your own. I also hope, if you went to public schools, that you’ve reimbursed them for the job they did educating you for that job you work your butt off at.

  591. #596 Rae
    October 26, 2008

    Bob Vogel, um, speak for yourself. Go back to your formative years in education (do you have any?) and just take the word apart according to its Latin and Greek bases: muta, from the Latin mutare, “to change.” Even if one had a very poor education but is attracted to reading articles like this, one should be able to recognize that “muta” comes from mutable/mutate which means change. Now, let’s get back to our lesson, shall we? “Genize:” obviously come from genos (Greek), meaning race, offspring. Let’s play Electric Company (that bad liberal children’s show from the 70s) and put them together: Change+Offspring. Think you can figure out the basic meaning of mutagenize now? I have more faith in the general public’s intelligence and ability to read and understand, or at least their ability to use a .com if they don’t.

  592. #597 SC
    October 26, 2008

    Thanks, thalarctos.

    I know I said I wouldn’t waste any more time on these people, but I can’t resist.

    Now, please stop reading this blog, and never comment here again, like you said you would.

    No, I didn’t, you stupid schlafly.

    Because no one with intelligence is interested…

    #s 95, 104, 161, 174, 177, 178, 191,…

    not including men, or white people, or rich people

    Yup, Jams really said that. Rich people.

  593. #598 Pyre
    October 26, 2008

    Walton @ 176:

    David Friedman [...] seemed to advocate having private law enforcement and competing “rights-enforcement firms”; but I find this idea risible, as, even if such a system were able to evolve a rational and consistent system of law, it would inevitably be skewed drastically towards those with more power….

    The conduct of RNC-paid police in and around St. Paul MN, before and during the Republican convention, serves as a stunning example.

  594. #599 SC
    October 26, 2008

    Oh, HTM hell. Another AM catagstrophe. I’m sure you can make sense of that, though.

  595. #600 VLo
    October 26, 2008

    Whoah! The Obama fan’s remarks here were mean and hateful. Can’t stand haters. This gives me a glinpse of what America can become under the Obama regime. It can become the world of haters. Chill out people. Relax. People will decide who they want to vote, regardless. No need to be hateful.

  596. #601 Pyre
    October 26, 2008

    MNJ @ 554:

    Well yea it is my money because I actually work my butt off for it. I’d prefer not waste a penny of it on people like you guys who think you’re entitled to it.

    Fair enough. Don’t pay taxes. And, in turn, don’t avail yourself on any tax-supported public services — roads, sidewalks, hospitals, police, etc.
     

    Because why should everyone else but you waste our pennies on public services to guys like you who think you’re entitled to them?

    As a society, we can cover those who can’t pay (not having the money to do so, being too young, too old, too sick, etc.) — but what’s in it for us to cover those who can pay yet won’t?

  597. #602 Nerd of Redhead
    October 26, 2008

    Whoah! The Obama fan’s remarks here were mean and hateful. Can’t stand haters. This gives me a glinpse of what America can become under the Obama regime. It can become the world of haters. Chill out people. Relax. People will decide who they want to vote, regardless. No need to be hateful.

    VLo, you need to look at the hateful remarks posted by the McSame people here and criticize them first before you ask us to tone down. What I hear from you is “don’t be mean to me, but my group can lie, distort, and be mean to you”. Get the word out the Rethugs first to be more civil. Anything else is not moral on your part.

  598. #603 Pyre
    October 26, 2008

    Incidentally, another vote (or “second”) for SC to get a Molly.

    For sheer patience and persistent clarity of explanation, over and above the call of duty.

  599. #604 barney
    October 26, 2008

    According to McCain insider Martin Eisenstadt, another “makeup artist” named Tracy Thorp was brought in to do one thing for Sarah Palin: Apply a SPRAY-ON TAN. Yup, it’s one of the crazier sidenotes to this scandal, but apparently they wanted to get rid of Sarah’s “Eskimo tan” so they brought in Tracy the tan lady from LA. Eisenstadt actually raised the first concerns about the makeup artists two days before the New York Times and Wash.Post did their stories today. Here’s the link:
    http://www.eisenstadtgroup.com/2008/10/24/rnc-paid-for-a-spray-on-tan-for-sarah-palin-too/

  600. #605 Pyre
    October 26, 2008

    Carlie @ 595:

    Whoops, now I see you beat me to it.

    Though I suppose it won’t hurt to have two people making that point.

  601. #606 Medusa
    October 26, 2008

    Actually. I am beginning to like Sarah Palin.

    Everytime she opens her mouth, she loses support for McCain.

    Her extravant spending on clothes and a make-up artist has not made her “one of us” at all.

    And the loony videos from her batshit crazy church are now making the rounds of You Tube; not helping her one bit.

    Picking her for his running mate has to be the most stupid thing McCain has ever done.

  602. #607 george.wiman
    October 26, 2008

    @574: “I wonder how many who are opposed to Palin voted for Bush Jr, TWICE?”

    I am perfectly content for them to come around – better late than never. I voted for Reagan, and he made me a Democrat.

  603. #608 Julie Stahlhut
    October 26, 2008

    txaz wrote: Do NOT let Dems take our freedom that was won with much sacrifice.

    Oh, yeah. Don’t take away our freedom to lose everything we have if we get sick, even if we work hard at our jobs and have some level of health insurance. Don’t take away our freedom to get into bloody and pointless wars that are started by lies and carried out without any coherent strategy. Don’t take away our freedom to lose our savings to corrupt financial manipulators who have already successfully lobbied to make intricate banking frauds legal. Don’t take away our freedom to be tossed into overseas prisons without being charged with a crime if we happen to have the wrong kind of foreign-sounding name. Don’t take away our freedom to learn science in public schools without interference from religious extremists.

    We’ve all been making lots of sacrifices OF our freedom to the current administration, and we’re now stuck with collapsing banks, increasing unemployment, diminished funding for scientific research, long-term money problems for people dealing with health issues, and the co-option of public schools as bully pulpits for uneducated fringe preachers. Someone has to fix this. And the last few years have made it absolutely clear that it’s not going to be the Republican Party.

  604. #609 Sphere Coupler
    October 26, 2008

    Lets see…the fruit fly in question appears to be able to damage crops.hmm, So if I understand either the Republicans are looking for a “buzz word” to spread like wild fire amongst the gullible or perhaps it’s another (fraudulin/freudian) slip.Someone appears to want a good ole’ fashion round of pestilence.Some people just can’t get enough (drama/suffering). Just a humouras thought.

    P.S. How about a good ole’ fashion swarm of locust?

  605. #610 pv
    October 26, 2008

    It is shocking, from this side of the pond, to realise that there are voters in the US who admire and applaud this halfwitted chump. People are so thick they would actually vote for her? She makes GWB seem like genius by comparison.

  606. #611 Posted by: Posted by
    October 26, 2008

    There’s a flame war on the internet and everyone’s invited!

  607. #612 The MadPanda
    October 26, 2008

    Carlie & Pyre…

    I third the motion! SC has shown far greater patience than could be reasonably expected.

    OM for SC!

    VLo: Project much?

    The MadPanda, FCD

  608. #613 Walter
    October 26, 2008

    “I can’t imagine how to fix this problem.”

    How about a poster in every classroom that says “You can’t plan discovery. There is no wasted research.”

  609. #614 Rolan le Gargéac
    October 26, 2008

    Dear SC

    It’s cool that so many French people are dropping in.
    Welcome. :)

    Oui dès l’instant que je vous vis,
    Beauté féroce, vous me plûtes.

    Merci infiniment !

  610. #615 Steven Schafersman
    October 26, 2008

    I wrote a column about Palin and fruit flies yesterday at
    http://tinyurl.com/5d5wuo
    in case anyone is interested. I think every evolution blogger did. This episode is just too priceless.

  611. #616 Susan
    October 26, 2008

    I third the motion!

    Fourthed! For her valiant work here and on many other threads. Nothing says “We hate women” like the blithe use of misogynist slurs, and I appreciate SC’s pushback.

  612. #617 Carlie
    October 26, 2008

    SC’s also got a hell of a lot more stamina for it than I do. I tend to just leave when I get that upset, and SC’s been amazing at keeping at it.

  613. #618 Nerd of Redhead
    October 26, 2008

    Fourthed!

    I’ll be the fifth, but don’t tell her as I want it to be a surprise when the Molly nominations open.

    *headdesk* DOH!

  614. #619 Shane
    October 26, 2008

    It is disappointing to find, so many, with so much, that earned so little, have so much to say, against people who actually have earned for themselves a place in life.
    In contrast, the democrats have a man who has served less than four years in the US Senate, sponsored nothing of value, has a history of abstaining (voted – PRESENT) in his own state 130 times. The nearest competition had voted only 50 times in that fashion. Obama’s was no DEMOCRAT strategy…he was a coward.

  615. #620 Ichthyic
    October 26, 2008

    Well yea it is my money because I actually work my butt off for it. I’d prefer not waste a penny of it on people like you guys who think you’re entitled to it.

    then don’t.

    figure out exactly how much of the amount of taxes you pay actually goes to basic research, and simply refuse to pay it.

    guess what fuckwit?

    it would amount to about a 1.50, if you’re an average taxpayer (you did say you work for a living, right?).

    then you could do the same for all the other things you don’t like.

    hey, if you do really well at it, maybe you’ll become best buddies with Kent Hovind!

  616. #621 Ichthyic
    October 26, 2008

    But I think that capitalism is much better than socialism

    you do of course realize that the last 8 years of republican administration lead to the first time in history that our entire banking system has been socialized, right?

    did you miss the signing ceremony where Bush essentially forced all the major banks in the US to have 40% of their assets controlled by the federal government?

    guess what fuckwit?

    it’s the republicans that have ALREADY given you socialized financial institutions.

  617. #622 Jams
    October 26, 2008

    “I know I said I wouldn’t waste any more time on these people” – SC

    “These people”? Yes, just lump random people into one big blob of transgressors. Is this part of your strategy for a more compassionate, less abusive world?

    You really are a trashy piece of work.

  618. #623 Nerd of Redhead
    October 26, 2008

    Jams, please present your strategy for making this blog, and to an extent, the world, less abusive.

    No plan, no talk about other people trying to make things more civil.

  619. #624 Kel
    October 26, 2008

    Why is it always a dichotomy between capitalist and socialist? Surely any system that operates needs to have a balance between the two with that balance point depending on the population involved. But it seems like the word socialist is a taboo, you just have to implement social systems while singing “free market” to get things done.

  620. #625 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 26, 2008

    Posted by: Jams | October 26, 2008 4:43 PM [kill]?[hide comment]

    “I know I said I wouldn’t waste any more time on these people” – SC

    “These people”? Yes, just lump random people into one big blob of transgressors. Is this part of your strategy for a more compassionate, less abusive world?

    SC was referring back to this:

    Posted by: SC | October 26, 2008 2:44 AM [kill]?[hide comment]

    Posted by: Camboy | October 26, 2008 12:25 AM

    Posted by: Jams | October 26, 2008 2:14 AM

    I’m not wasting any more time on these odious creeps.

    Lumping together random people? I think not.

    You really are a trashy piece of work.

  621. #626 SC
    October 26, 2008

    *rougissant**

    Wow. Thank you all. I’m speechless.

    And thanks, Jams! Yes! I’ve long aspired to be a trashy piece of work! Awesome. (And you don’t know the half of it.)

    Too bad you meant it as an insult, though, and prefer someone daintier. I was hoping you and I could get something going. I mean, with your wit, wisdom, and progressive ideas, you put men like truth machine, Ichthyic, Emmet, and Sven to shame. Really. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – you’re quite the catch.

    *like cheap Zinfandel grapes from California, USA – I kid you not.

  622. #627 Nick Gotts
    October 26, 2008

    Tyranny of the majority – Walton

    Walton, that’s just a silly adolescent way of saying you oppose democracy.

    There is no coherent justification for protectionism, and you haven’t given me one. All producers should compete in the same market, therefore creating broader competition and more efficiency. – Walton

    Efficiency – like the immense financial crisis we’re currently in, product of decades of privatisation and deregulation? The “coherent justification” for protectionism within capitalism is not for me to give – I advocate global democratic socialism, which might use both markets and trade barriers, but would place major economic decisions under the democratic control of those affected by them. It’s interesting that you want all barriers to trade removed, but are keen to prevent there being any democratic check on the activities of the mega-companies that absence of barriers would generate (and indeed, the move toward it has generated). In other words, what you want is the tyranny of a minority – the rich. That’s what the proposals of the right always come down to.

    I take your point about the fact that capitalism has never existed in a pure, unalloyed form, free of the constraints of geopolitics; this is certainly true.

    No, you very obviously miss my point – which is that capitalism is what we have now and that geopolitics, complete with wars, tariffs and taxes, is and always has been intrinsic to it, not some external excrescence. When you talk about “capitalism” you are blethering about something that has never existed, and never could exist – because markets tend to generate inequalities, and those who are on the right side of these inequalities will then use them to reinforce their own position, employing state power if it is handy, and other means if not. Democracy is the only way to avoid this.

    (Iceland, of course, can only run its fisheries protection system because the national government limits access by non-Icelanders, imposes restrictions on the proportion of catch rights any company can have, on nets, on where fish can be taken…)

  623. #628 SC
    October 26, 2008

    In other words, what you want is the tyranny of a minority – the rich. That’s what the proposals of the right always come down to.

    Jams and I will thank you not to use such hateful slurs against the downtrodden and suffering wealthy.

  624. #629 oca sapiens
    October 26, 2008

    Saint @580 –
    You, Sarah Palin and others seem to think piggybacking on an other country’s research will cost US taxpayers more than starting it from scratch in the US. Why?

    Rolan Le Gargéac’s @614: I agree! One more French (female) vote for SC’s Molly. Wish I could also cast an other one…

    sylvie

  625. #630 Nick Gotts
    October 26, 2008

    SC should-be-OM@628,
    I do apologise – I must try and remember that it’s not the fault of the rich they are as greedy, callous, and prone to resort to violence as they are, but an unfortunate affliction, bravely borne!

  626. #631 Carlie
    October 26, 2008

    Yes, just lump random people into one big blob of transgressors. Is this part of your strategy for a more compassionate, less abusive world?

    My irony meter just exploded.

  627. #632 amk
    October 26, 2008

    I voted SC for Molly last time, and I shall be doing so again next.

    Anyway, back to my new hobby: arguing with Walton.

    There is no coherent justification for protectionism, and you haven’t given me one. All producers should compete in the same market, therefore creating broader competition and more efficiency.

    You should read Stiglitz’s book “Globalization and its Discontents”. He supports the free trade of goods and services (as he claims does almost every other economist) as a long term goal. However if barriers into a poor country with inefficient business are stripped suddenly, its domestic business may be wiped out, leaving mass unemployment. Iraq is an example of this happening (obviously, the violence doesn’t help). China is an example of this being averted by gradual liberalisation.

    Stiglitz however is sceptical of the free flow of capital. If a poor country hits hard times and its capital has been liberalised, then all that capital can flee the country, leaving it devastated. See this. A successful development strategy has been to allow only direct investment, i.e. building factories.

  628. #633 Phil Boncer
    October 26, 2008

    First, it’s interesting how, in a place where the great majority of participants claim to be against religion and dogma, against blind following and for rational discourse, people who show up with a different rational and secular point of view are shouted down and insulted on a regular basis. “Fuckwit” is not a term that is useful in promoting a reasonable discussion. Such behavior is hypocritical.

    Second, it’s really sad, and more than a bit frightening, that there are so many people that still believe in socialism as a viable and useful paradigm, after the history of the last couple centuries. People who are intelligent and educated, even. But I suppose if rationality hasn’t managed in over 500 years to conquer religion in more than a fairly small segment of the populace, we have to expect other irrational belief systems to persist for significant periods of time as well.
    =====
    Kel wrote (#624): [i]“Why is it always a dichotomy between capitalist and socialist? Surely any system that operates needs to have a balance between the two with that balance point depending on the population involved. But it seems like the word socialist is a taboo, you just have to implement social systems while singing “free market” to get things done.”[/i]

    The primary dichotomy is really between individualist and socialist. The question is: are people to be respected as individuals with rights and liberty, and society as subordinate to that; or are people to be considered to be subordinate to and at the disposal of society?

    When people are allowed individual liberty, capitalism typically develops as one of the primary and most effective systems of societal operation, as it is a system mainly of voluntary creation and exchange. Socialism, OTOH, is primarily a system of coerced “cooperation”, in which people are forced to expend some portion of their labor and lives for the benefit of others, without consent. Socialism is thus an inherently immoral system, and is rightfully opposed as much as possible.

    PhilB

  629. #634 Jess
    October 26, 2008

    I enjoyed going to Pubmed and searching for Down syndrome and Drosophila just to see how much research that impacts on our understanding of Down syndrome and our potential treatment of it is done on fruit flies. Wow, quite a lot, by the looks of things.

  630. #635 Nick Gotts
    October 26, 2008

    The primary dichotomy is really between individualist and socialist. The question is: are people to be respected as individuals with rights and liberty, and society as subordinate to that; or are people to be considered to be subordinate to and at the disposal of society?

    When people are allowed individual liberty, capitalism typically develops as one of the primary and most effective systems of societal operation, as it is a system mainly of voluntary creation and exchange. Socialism, OTOH, is primarily a system of coerced “cooperation”, in which people are forced to expend some portion of their labor and lives for the benefit of others, without consent. Socialism is thus an inherently immoral system, and is rightfully opposed as much as possible.

    Ludicrous garbage. The dichotomy between socialism and individualism is a false one, as democratic socialists, and anarchists, have consistently fought for individual liberties for well over a century. Unlike “libertarians”, however, we recognise that what matters is real individual liberty – for which the resources to make and follow through choices must be available – not simply an absence of government constraints; and that all individuals should be entitled to these liberties, not just those lucky enough to be born into a privileged class, or even to be born clever.

    Oh and historically, capitalism has developed just once, and large-scale murder, enslavement and dispossession of the poor was an intrinsic aspect of that development.

  631. #636 Walton
    October 26, 2008

    Interesting quiz: “Are You Smarter than Sarah Palin?”

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=UePOdha_dHM

    (No answers are given, but I’m pretty sure I knew most of them.)

  632. #637 Kel
    October 26, 2008

    The primary dichotomy is really between individualist and socialist. The question is: are people to be respected as individuals with rights and liberty, and society as subordinate to that; or are people to be considered to be subordinate to and at the disposal of society?

    So you don’t think that there’s the possibility of having an even greater liberty by having a system that has some social aspects like schools, hospitals, roads, law enforcement, etc.? Money can be taken and funded into programs that benefit society as a whole, those services can give us more liberty. All capitalism over socialism implies is pure economic freedom, money is not the only factor of life!

  633. #638 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 26, 2008

    Killfile is indeed my friend.

  634. #639 Carlie
    October 26, 2008

    Killfile powers activate! (touches Janine)

  635. #640 amk
    October 26, 2008

    Posted by: alreadydecided | October 26, 2008 8:11 PM

    wat

  636. #641 Nerd of Redhead
    October 26, 2008

    amk, that post will be gone as soon as PZ sees it. Long cut/paste of religious nonsense does not survive for long.

  637. #643 Doctorb
    October 26, 2008

    I’d just like to mention that Bush asked for $310 million in “missile shield” spending for FY2008. Not for research and development but for deployment of a system which, if the weather is clear and other conditions are perfect, can shoot down a missile one time out of four. Provided that missile is broadcasting its GPS data. So really a few hundred thousand to keep a few weirdo biologists off the streets is not such a big deal (plus I bet the research will be able to save more than one out of four olive trees).

    Oh yeah, and also around 70 BILLION dollars of the massive financial bailout are going to be available as bonuses for investment bank big-shots. “Hey, bang-up job on that economic meltdown, guys! Have some money!” “Okay!” No, really, having our tax dollars go to reward the people who essentially created *and* fell for a Ponzi scheme is a GREAT POLICY, whereas raising the top marginal tax rate a few percentage points is OMG STALINIST LOOK OUT.

  638. #644 Patricia
    October 26, 2008

    Certainly we can all pray together! Happy to.

    Oh mighty Bacchus, and glorious Pan, we beg and beseech you both to deliver unto us wine and lust. May we all feast, drink and fornicate until we puke. Amen!

  639. #645 Nerd of Redhead
    October 26, 2008

    Oh mighty Bacchus, and glorious Pan, we beg and beseech you both to deliver unto us wine and lust. May we all feast, drink and fornicate until we puke. Amen!

    A glorious prayer. Amen sister…….but I have to go to work in the morning. Drat.

  640. #646 Jen
    October 26, 2008

    Two words

    Bactrocera oleae

    TWIT

    You claim to be a scientist, and you don’t even know your fruit flies!

  641. #647 The MadPanda
    October 26, 2008

    Ooo, ooo, how ’bout we add an invocation to Eris, that she may bless these proceedings? The Grooviest of Goddesses always makes a party better, as do her most beloved saints, Coyote the Ever-hopeful and Bugs the Rascally.

    Alas, I, like our friendly neighborhood Nerd, must also hit cubeville in the morning and must temporarily abstain. But next weekend is only a few days away…

    The MadPanda, FCD

  642. #648 Patricia
    October 26, 2008

    Nerd – Never fear sweet sir, as a High Priestess of Strumpetry, I absolve you, and you may make your sacrifices and gorge yourself at your next convenient time.

    And because I am a generous slut, I add 23 ducats to your swill tab. Give the Redhead a treat!

  643. #649 Patricia
    October 26, 2008

    Eeek! Et tu Mad Panda? *smooch*

    I am also a pope and follower of Emperor Norton. Damn straight, let’s stagger out of the bowling alley and shout a hearty, Hail Eris!

    Pfft! The best part of this is, PZ is goin’ to hell for letting all these godless heathens dance suggestively around his blog. Ha, ha, ha! ;o)

  644. #650 The MadPanda
    October 26, 2008

    Many thanks, O Strumpetly One! When next I may safely imbibe, I shall add an additional pint of the best in memory of Emperor Norton, Duke of Canada and Protector of Mexico (Whose Boots Governor Palin Is Not Worthy To Polish With Her Nose).

    The MadPanda, FCD

  645. #651 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 26, 2008

    alreadydecided.

    go fuck yourself.

  646. #652 chgo_liz
    October 26, 2008

    Jake @ #212:

    Also to the person that mentioned that slurs that decry sexes are in the same vain as slurs that decry race, that couldn’t be further from correct. While on stage a comic is well within accepted convention to use bitch/bastard dickhead/slapper or whatnot, but as we know with displays semi-recently with other white comedians it’s very much taboo to use racial slurs. I don’t know why, it’s just different.

    The difference pretty much boils down to the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. There’s a much shorter list these days regarding whom we’re allowed to disrespect without compunction. Women are still very much on that short list.

  647. #653 Patricia
    October 26, 2008

    Yeek!

    Rev. to whom are you addressing the ‘go fuck yourself’?

    I’m a busybody, and I want to keep up with the pace of fucking.

  648. #654 eddie
    October 26, 2008

    If the Palin/McCain sticket manages to steal the White House like the last buffoon did, I see a mass exodus of intelligent people from this once great country.

  649. #655 Eric Saveau
    October 26, 2008

    @alreadydecided
    Christian supremacist masturbatory propaganda

    Yes, most of us here have long been aware of the fact that Francis Schaeffer was a lying hate-mongering anti-freedom slimeball… what’s your point?

  650. #656 chgo_liz
    October 26, 2008

    Already Decided @ #638:

    But this was not the view of the founding fathers of this country. They believed, although not all of them were individual Christians, that there was a Creator and that this Creator gave the inalienable rights — this upon which our country was founded and which has given us the freedoms which we still have — even the freedoms which are being used now to destroy the freedoms.

    FAIL. They didn’t write that there was a Creator. They wrote:

    “…all Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

    Notice the important distinction? They didn’t say “endowed by A Creator” or “endowed by THE Creator”…they acknowledged that each person has their own version of “Creator”. The distinction is actually monumental in scope. In other words, not only do people have inalienable rights that neither a municipal government, nor a state government, nor even a federal government can deny…not even different versions of “Creator” can deny people their inalienable rights. We each get those rights no matter who or what we think created us.

    It’s genius, really.

  651. #657 Eusebius
    October 27, 2008

    Well, Myers,

    It’s apparent that some things that education cannot eliminate are bigotry and prejudice, because you are full of them; they seem to ooze out of every opinion you state.

    I know that in the past you have stated a preference for dealing violently with those whom you despise. I seem to recall some threatening language you used in reference to one of your son’s high school science teachers.

    Is that still your current stance? Are you calling for violence against the GOP VP nominee?

  652. #658 Camboy
    October 27, 2008

    Good god, I can’t believe the vehemence of some of these reactions. Don’t some of you ladies have anything better to do? (your monikers are unambiguously female, so on that basis I’m assuming you’re female)

    Janine: I have been reading this blog for years, because it entertains me immensely. I have commented before, with this same signature, but I grant you very rarely. Why? Because I have a life, and I don’t have time to get involved in a big discussion with anyone on what is, in the end, just a fucking blog. But sometimes I see a post that inscences me so strongly, that I just can’t hold back. And I still try to tell myself, hey Camboy, work to do, bedtime… But sometimes I just can’t manage it. In this particular case, comment #40 was just more than I could bear.

    Secondly, in terms of being a git. Well, I had never heard that word before, but I looked it up on webster’s online, and I found that it meant: a foolish or worthless person. Well, OK, if you can determine the worth of a person on the basis of 1 comment, well, all I can say is, you must be some kind of fucking genius as far as I’m concerned. As for myself, I am a sufficiently accomplished person (math Ph.D. from a top school, an academic career where I solved a number of significant problems, and now, well, a wall street sleaze, but I’m making lots of money–and actually, amongst the people who were warning the powers that be at the top of our lungs that the present crisis was coming, but alas, no one listened) that what someone like you thinks of me is about as important to me as knowing the exact number of people who are at this moment experiencing flatullence in Sri Lanka is.

    But the main thing I want to respond to is your plea that I grow up. Well as far as I am concerned, if I were actually conversing with grown ups right now, there would be no need for me to even be writing this comment. On this blog, people tend not to pull punches. At all. The serious people here are grown ups, they have high IQs, and they don’t get their boxer shorts (or panties) in a bunch over trivialities. People are regularly reffered to on this blog as “dickhead”, “asshole”, “fucktard”, and a rather lot of other barnyard epithets. The vast majority of these appelations are insults that are in traditional colloquial usage considered insults toward males. And why do commenters choose these particular lexicons over others they might select? Is it because the commenters here (the vast majority of which are admittedly male) feel they have a special need to belittle and hurt the male sex of our species? I myself would propose another idea: I think they are using these particular epithets primarily because………drumroll now………: THEY ARE SPEAKING FUCKING ENGLISH. And when you are speaking English, and you have to deal with a creationist troll, a bible thumping fucktard, or an utterly repugnant thing like the Sarah Palin phenomenon, you do not mince words. When you want to express the deepest and most heartfelt contempt for some thing or some one, you are going to use the most striking, sharpest, and indeed most visceral language you can use. Because there is no other way to make the strength of your contempt clear. And that means you are going to use epithets like “dickhead”, “son of a bitch”, “pecker”, and, most definitely “cunt”, and “twat”, as well. In all honesty, I don’t think I have ever used the words “cunt” or “twat” before to insult any one but a male. Think about it. What could possibly be more insulting than to be compared to the oppossite sexes’ genitalia? As for “bitch”, I grant you, that one is for girls. But so what. Grow the fuck up yourself. We have all these insults for men. You want equality? Well, you got it. Here are the insults for you.

    Patricia: My response to you (and anyone else) will be proportional to what you have contributed to the conversation. In actual fact you are not going to be sticking anything up my short pants. Why? Because this is the fucking internet. You don’t even know what short pants I’m wearing right now. OK, I’m done with you.

    Finally, SC, the person I ultimately have to thank for the fact that it’s 1:30 am on a sunday, and I haven’t gone to bed yet.

    Sarah Palin is a stupid fucking bitch. Period. And when I say that, whilst the probability is not exactly zero, if she were in fact a penis bearing member of the species, I admit it is unlikely I wouldn’t choose a different epithet for her. And what I would most like to know is what the fuck does that have to do with you? Or any other non-penis bearing member of the species besides Sarah Palin? When I come across some asshat, and refer to him as a “dickhead”, a “dick” or in fact, almost the worst insult of all for a male, “dickless”, am I also insulting my brother, my male coworkers, my male dentist, my male college professors? Well, umm, like, no. Similarly, when referring to Sarah Palin, Elizabeth Dole, Schafly, and lots of other pillars of ignorance who happen to be female as “bitches”, “cunts”, or whatever, am I insulting my sisters (I got a lot actually), my female professors, Angela Merkel, or any other female besides the ones I’m referring to? No. All I’m doing is speaking English. Like, the way I was brought up. And when speaking that language, when we have to refer to a particularly obnoxious male, we tend to use words like “dickhead”, and when we have to refer to a particularly obnoxious female, we tend to use words like “bitch”. You know, in languages like French and German, they actually use different declaritives for male or female nouns. Are those intrinsically sexist languages? If so, you better get over to France and Germany and do something about it because the sexism over there is a helluva lot more ubiquitous than one little blog of a biology professor.

    People are going to continue to speak English on this blog, and continue to use words that, in one way or another (and the overall slant really is against men, not women), have some gender connotations. Not because they’re bad people, or even because they are unwittingly sexist people. But just because they grew up speaking English, and they continue to. And there are far more important things to stay up until 2 am talking about than that.

    Honestly, comment #40 is worse than something a concern troll would write, although the parallels are uncanny. Because at least a concern troll is, in the end, an honest troll (if you don’t find that a mind-numbing conundrum). You actually want people to take you seriously as an intelligent person, and you waste people’s time with worthless pc drivel like that?

    It’s doubtful I’m going to reply to anymore posts on this matter. Like I said above, I have a life, and I really have nothing more substantive to say. You might try getting a life yourself.

  653. #659 kev_S
    October 27, 2008
  654. #660 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 27, 2008

    Poor widdle Camboy got his feewings hurt.
    Killfile.

  655. #661 thalarctos
    October 27, 2008

    Poor widdle Camboy got his feewings hurt.

    “you ladies” was a nice touch though–I do believe that’s the first time this century I’ve heard that.

    Killfile.

    Indeed.

  656. #662 Camboy
    October 27, 2008

    Honestly there was no significance whatsoever to “you ladies” than the simple fact that where I grew up (the sticks like you wouldn’t believe) that’s just the way people talk, and I have neither shame nor pride in that.

    And if comment #661 is the best that The Lone Drinker can do, than “Indeed” is an understatement to say the least.

  657. #663 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Poor widdle Camboy got his feewings hurt.

    Really. The only thing worse than an odious creep is a sulky, defensive odious creep.

    As Emmet said @ #161, “On the particular point, I half agree with SC: I abjure words like ‘cunt’, but I find it useful when another person uses them, since it tells me something about him/her.”

    And sometimes, apparently feeling that insufficient, someone will they treat us to the full Manifesto of the Misogynist Party. Pouty little pissant.

  658. #664 Wowbagger
    October 27, 2008

    Okay, quick question – is there any occasion where the word ‘bitch’ isn’t going to get someone labeled a misogynist? I wouldn’t use it to describe Palin – since she doesn’t, from what I’ve seen, meet what I would consider the criteria – but there are times when it seems the most apt term to use to describe someone.

  659. #665 Camboy
    October 27, 2008

    You can’t win an argument with name calling SC. Either answer my comments substantively or admit defeat and go away.

    And for the record, I am neither misogynist, defensive, nor pissant, just because I use words like “cunt” and “twat” just as freely as I use words like “dickhead” and “asshole”, and my comment was not “pouty”.

    I am however really going to bed now, so any further responses from me will have to wait until Monday night.

  660. #666 thalarctos
    October 27, 2008

    but there are times when it seems the most apt term to use to describe someone

    It’s a calculated risk–if you really, truly, honestly, can’t think of a non-sexist way to communicate what you mean, then perhaps you should just go ahead and take responsibility for using sexist language in a particular audience.

    But I am curious about the criteria for “most apt”. SC has asked repeatedly what the criteria for “bitch” is, other than just an easy/lazy habit to denigrate a woman; so far as I can see, she hasn’t received an objective, rational answer.

    Perhaps if you could explain why it’s sometimes the most “apt”, we could make a first approach at an objective criterion that way.

  661. #667 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Cambot – I’m not arguing with you. I’ve made my substantive arguments on this thread already, largely in response to people I like and take seriously, like John Morales. You’re beneath contempt.

    Okay, quick question – is there any occasion where the word ‘bitch’ isn’t going to get someone labeled a misogynist?

    I think that’s a really good question. Speaking only for myself: “Bitch” is more complicated than “cunt” since it can refer not only to women in general but to a specific set of behaviors typically thought of as “bitchy.” I don’t love it, but I’m not that offended by it and, honestly, have probably used it in the past myself. But in this case, people generally say something like “She’s being a real bitch” or sometimes just “She’s such a bitch” but with the clear implication that it is the specific behavior of this individual that is being referred to. The way I’ve seen it used on here of late (“stupid bitch,” “shit-for-brains bitch,”…) has seemed, in almost every case, to be as a derogatory replacement for “woman,” interchangeably with “cunt.” If I had seen it once or twice it would have irritated me but I would have given people the benefit of the doubt; but seeing it used like this several times in the same contexts in which “cunt” was being used (and on one thread repeated references to a woman’s physical appearance) drove me to say something.

  662. #668 thalarctos
    October 27, 2008

    the criteria for “bitch” is

    criterion, dammit!

  663. #669 Marc Draco
    October 27, 2008

    If America votes this idiot into power, it will have done the humanity the worst disservice in living memory. She is dangerously ignorant and only a failing heart away from the nuclear launch codes. It get a knot in my stomach every time I am reminded that so many people actually believe this stone-age stupidity.

  664. #670 SC
    October 27, 2008

    And I’ll add that the behavior of none of the women discussed on these recent threads would “most aptly” be described as “bitchy” by any stretch of the imagination. Contemptible, ignorant, smug, xenophobic, deceitful, etc. – many, many terms more apt have been used. PZ managed these posts without any derogatory references despite plenty of insults – they could just as easily have been written about men.

  665. #671 Walton
    October 27, 2008

    To amk at #632 (sorry for the delayed reply).

    You should read Stiglitz’s book “Globalization and its Discontents”. He supports the free trade of goods and services (as he claims does almost every other economist) as a long term goal. However if barriers into a poor country with inefficient business are stripped suddenly, its domestic business may be wiped out, leaving mass unemployment. Iraq is an example of this happening (obviously, the violence doesn’t help). China is an example of this being averted by gradual liberalisation.

    I see what you mean, and, of course, this is intuitively correct; clearly if domestic industries are accustomed to being protected by tariffs, and have not become efficient, a sudden removal of tariffs leads to short-term unemployment. But in the long run surely it’s still beneficial?

    Imagine country X is a stable nation with established property rights and the rule of law (not the case in Iraq, as you concede, so Iraq is a poor example). All its tariffs are abolished in the name of free trade, leading to the collapse of several domestic industries and mass unemployment. Surely, considering the lack of tariffs and the sudden large supply of cheap labour, global businesses will have a powerful incentive to move in and set up shop? From the perspective of manufacturing industries, requiring large supplies of unskilled workers, such an economic situation is absolutely ideal.

    And in time, as the country industrialises (or re-industrialises), unemployment will drop, labour will become more scarce and wages will start to rise. People will have more spending money, so the market for consumer goods will increase. And of course, since you have no tariffs, imported consumer goods will be cheap – leading to a high standard of living. This is the route taken by several Asian countries in the last few decades, to great success.

    Iraq is not going to develop like that because it is so politically unstable. Since there’s no way of guaranteeing property rights and enforceability of contracts, investors will not risk their money and businesses will not set up shop there. What Iraq needs, clearly, is security and the rule of law – which, as I understand it, is what US and UK troops are trying (with limited success) to achieve.

  666. #672 Walton
    October 27, 2008

    Camboy at #659: …and now, well, a wall street sleaze, but I’m making lots of money–and actually, amongst the people who were warning the powers that be at the top of our lungs that the present crisis was coming, but alas, no one listened…

    Ah, a Wall Street insider – I’d be interested to know how you would analyse the causes of the present financial crash. I don’t know anyone in the US financial sector personally, so I’m interested in hearing what you see as the root of the problem, and whether your perspective is different from that of the academic economists (who, of course, seem to be disagreeing vehemently amongst themselves, with Nobel Prize-winners Krugman and Stiglitz saying one thing and the likes of Russell Roberts saying another). In particular, do you see it as primarily due to government policies (whether housing policy, monetary policy, or any other area) or due to the activities of the financial profession itself? And do you think deregulation has been a hindrance or a help?

  667. #673 Wowbagger
    October 27, 2008

    Like I said, I wouldn’t call Palin a bitch. She’s an idiot, and that has nothing to do with her gender. Anyone saying what she says is going to attract scorn from me.

    I’m trying to find words to describe the behaviour which would prompt me to call someone a bitch – and that’s a big part of the rationale for why I might use the word. If a woman is rude or abusive toward me I would be tempted to call her a bitch; the same sort of behaviour would prompt me to refer to a man as a prick or an asshole/arsehole.

    That’s about the best I can do. Yes, it’s gender-specific – calling a male a bitch or a female a prick just doesn’t sit well – but is that misogyny?

    ‘Cunt’ is another thing entirely. I’m Australian, and we don’t use it (the word) in the same way as in the US. It’s more an alternative for ‘prick’, ‘bastard’ or ‘arsehole’, and used to describe another male of whom you think poorly – though sometimes only jokingly – rather than insultingly toward a woman. I’ve never heard a male refer to a female as ‘a cunt’.

    But I know (and understand why) that is misogynistic.

  668. #674 Nick Gotts
    October 27, 2008

    Eusebius@657,
    You’re a lying toad. In context, the remarks of PZ that you refer to were quite clearly metaphorical. I know it, you know it, anyone who has read them knows it. You. Lying. Toad.

  669. #675 Mover
    October 27, 2008

    The mushbrains complain that the government isn’t providing enough for Americans and wholeheartly condone using the power of government to extract hard earned dollars for the purpose of buying elections and running up the cost of food & services (like health care).

    And yet, you are upset that someone is complaining about sending many of those dollars to a foreign nation to do research that can be done in this country and provide whorthwhile jobs to Americans.

    too funny

  670. #676 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    The award for missing the point goes to Mover

  671. #677 SC
    October 27, 2008

    I’m trying to find words to describe the behaviour which would prompt me to call someone a bitch – and that’s a big part of the rationale for why I might use the word.

    You can’t name the specific qualities that would lead you to call a woman a bitch, but you think it’s at times the “most apt” term to describe someone? The fact that you can’t define it with any specificity is your rationale for using it? Huh?

    If a woman is rude or abusive toward me I would be tempted to call her a bitch; the same sort of behaviour would prompt me to refer to a man as a prick or an asshole/arsehole.

    That’s about the best I can do. Yes, it’s gender-specific – calling a male a bitch or a female a prick just doesn’t sit well – but is that misogyny?

    Progress. But I’m confused – did you not read my comment @ #667? It’s not only the gender specificity that’s the problem, but that “bitch,” like “cunt” (or “cow” for that matter), is also a demeaning term for a woman generally. “Prick” isn’t for men, and neither is “dick” (I’ve called women assholes, btw). That’s how I saw it being used here – misogynistically.

    (It’s not that these others don’t sit well. It’s that they don’t make sense in the language as it’s used. I wouldn’t be offended if someone called me a prick – just puzzled. Thanks for the clarification about the use of “cunt” in Australia. That may be at the root of some confusion, but since none of the people who’ve been called one on here recently are male that would be a bit strange.)

    I keep returning to the fact that most of the men around here who deliver stinging insults day in and day out – PZ, truth machine, Nick Gotts, Brownian, Ichthyic, Emmet, Sven, and many others – have never said anything that seemed misogynistic or even hinted at it. I don’t believe this is because they’re constantly being careful and self-censoring. It’s because they don’t have the underlying attitudes towards women that would lead them to say such things. That’s my take.

  672. #678 Dave Godffrey
    October 27, 2008

    Mover:

    Science is an international enterprise. There is nothing wrong with sending money to research groups in another country if they can produce results that will directly benefit you.

    The research was done on an agricultural pest in its native range. It seems a perfectly sensible place to do it. Has it occurred to you that there might not be anyone qualified to do the research in the US? If there was I suspect the money would have gone to an American team. Who would probably have had to go to France to do the research anyway.

    A directly comparable example is work done on the Screw-worm Fly. This species is native to Africa, and would have decimated the South American Cattle Industry had it not been eradicated by releasing millions of sterilised males. The work was done by a scientist in London.

  673. #679 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Oh, Walton, fuck off. Here’s what you said @ #178:

    Racist slurs towards Obama such as “Stupid n***r” or “dumb black ass” would rightfully provoke some very strong rejection on this blog, and we should treat misogynistic ones towards Palin exactly the same way.

    I concur absolutely.

    So if this flea had not only called Obama a “stupid n***r,” but then insisted that he was justified in doing so and referred to other commenters here in the same language, you would be seeking to engage him in civil discussion about the financial markets? What a fucking hypocrite and poser you are.

  674. #680 SC
    October 27, 2008

    What Iraq needs, clearly, is security and the rule of law – which, as I understand it, is what US and UK troops are trying (with limited success) to achieve.

    And after accepting my challenge to actually read some fucking history on the subject of Iraq/Iran and the US and UK and then backing out of it like a little weasel, you dare to pronounce upon the matter? You’re an ignorant little shit, Walton, and a liar to boot.

  675. #681 Carlie
    October 27, 2008

    I don’t believe this is because they’re constantly being careful and self-censoring. It’s because they don’t have the underlying attitudes towards women that would lead them to say such things.

    BINGO. That’s it, exactly.

  676. #682 chgo_liz
    October 27, 2008

    SC @ #677:

    I don’t believe this is because they’re constantly being careful and self-censoring. It’s because they don’t have the underlying attitudes towards women that would lead them to say such things.

    Yep. Exactly. Men who don’t think like misogynists don’t talk like them either.

  677. #683 thalarctos
    October 27, 2008

    Men who don’t think like misogynists don’t talk like them either.

    And before the tired old strawfeminist/”thought crimes” trope is dragged in, I’d like to point out that no one is trying to tell you what you can or cannot think. Just don’t be a denialist about it is all; if you’re going to routinely use terms like “cunt” and “bitch” to disparage women, own your usage–that’s all. (Wowbagger, I know that Australia and the US have very different trajectories; I’m speaking from a US perspective only, given the history and causative and resultant prejudices that Obama’s, Hillary’s, and Palin’s candidacies have brought to the surface and made visible in this election.)

    You have the freedom to say whatever you want about women. We have the freedom to point out the implications of what you say. You have the freedom to respond, and so do we. Just take responsibility for what you say, instead of pretending that you’re really, oh, so enlightened despite your language, and free speech proceeds as it should.

    I keep returning to the fact that most of the men around here who deliver stinging insults day in and day out – PZ, truth machine, Nick Gotts, Brownian, Ichthyic, Emmet, Sven, and many others – have never said anything that seemed misogynistic or even hinted at it.

    As long as we’re naming names (spirit of the Molly?), I’d like to point out that Pierce literally walks the walk, as well as talking the talk. They, and many others here I’ve failed to name, who would never dream of turning discussion of a female candidate into a tableau vivant of misogyny, are just one of the things that make Pharyngula one of my favorite places for grown-up discussion.

  678. #684 Walton
    October 27, 2008

    SC: So if this flea [Camboy] had not only called Obama a “stupid n***r,” but then insisted that he was justified in doing so and referred to other commenters here in the same language, you would be seeking to engage him in civil discussion about the financial markets? What a fucking hypocrite and poser you are.

    I didn’t remember. I haven’t been following this lengthy discussion about the misogyny of profane terms, having become bored of the topic days ago. I didn’t bother to read most of Camboy’s (very lengthy) most recent post; I was only interested in the bit about his experience in the financial markets. And while I deplore his use of bad language, I am nevertheless interested in what he has to say about finance. Just because I don’t consider someone’s behaviour on one issue ethical doesn’t mean that everything they have to say, within their area of expertise, must be rejected out of hand.

    I would apologise; but I don’t see that I need to. It so happens that I agree with you about misogynistic profanities, as I made clear before. I think they’re offensive and inappropriate. This doesn’t mean I’m going to boycott or cold-shoulder anyone who uses such a slur, nor did I ever claim I was going to. I am not a hypocrite. I didn’t go back on my word; I have never used a misogynistic slur on this site (or anywhere else), and I am not going to do so. I’m interested in civil discussion with anyone and everyone about the most pressing issue of our time – the global economy – not in arguing over who said what and why they shouldn’t have said it.

    And after accepting my challenge to actually read some fucking history on the subject of Iraq/Iran and the US and UK and then backing out of it like a little weasel, you dare to pronounce upon the matter? You’re an ignorant little shit, Walton, and a liar to boot.

    I said “as I understand it”. I was not making a blanket assertion. I explained that I have not had the time or intellectual energy to fulfil your challenge. And since you see fit to call me a liar, I have no intention now of fulfilling it.

  679. #685 SC
    October 27, 2008

    I didn’t remember. I haven’t been following this lengthy discussion about the misogyny of profane terms, having become bored of the topic days ago.

    Of course you did, asshole.

    I didn’t bother to read most of Camboy’s (very lengthy) most recent post;

    Just like you don’t bother to read most of anything before responding to it with your inane blather.

    I was only interested in the bit about his experience in the financial markets. And while I deplore his use of bad language, I am nevertheless interested in what he has to say about finance. Just because I don’t consider someone’s behaviour on one issue ethical doesn’t mean that everything they have to say, within their area of expertise, must be rejected out of hand.

    I forgot. This is a person who loves Limbaugh and Coulter.

    I would apologise; but I don’t see that I need to. It so happens that I agree with you about misogynistic profanities, as I made clear before. I think they’re offensive and inappropriate. This doesn’t mean I’m going to boycott or cold-shoulder anyone who uses such a slur, nor did I ever claim I was going to. I am not a hypocrite.

    So by “very strong rejection,” you – unlike Nick, with whom you concurred “absolutely” – actually meant ignoring the comments entirely and treating the bigot with respect. Got it. Double-Talk Express, coming through.

    I explained that I have not had the time or intellectual energy to fulfil your challenge. And since you see fit to call me a liar, I have no intention now of fulfilling it.

    But you’ve had the time and energy to spew your ignorant drivel here for the past several days. You never had the slightest intention of fulfilling it since you realized what it entailed. You’re a liar, little Thiers.

  680. #686 Patricia
    October 27, 2008

    mmmmmmm….
    Looks like I did shove somethin’ up poor little ol’ Camboys short pants, cause he’s left a naughty puddle on the floor.

  681. #687 Mover
    October 27, 2008

    Dear Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM.

    Well enlighten us. What was the point?

    Wait, let me guess.

    1. Another excuse to use the most rude and foul language that small minds can find to describe another human being.

    2. To show everyone your command of gutter talk while claiming some lofty insight.

    3. To bash anyone who may have beliefs that do not match yours and your clique.

    4. To promote the success of science in nice countries, like France, rather than spending it here, in the USA, a really mean and superstitious country, on the same type of research.

    5. To influence others to support your position that this country does not produce enough scientists.

    6. To influence others to support your position that the INS should lift the quota of 65K scientists from moving to this country.

    I’m thinking the most likely are numbers 1, 2 & 3, and maybe number 4.

  682. #688 Patricia
    October 27, 2008

    Yawn.

    You’ve bored us all half to death Walton.
    Except now. When SC is bored to tears by you, that’s just about the livin’ end.
    Only one left to bore. Address further comments to PZ.

    *I’m jest full of it this mornin!*

  683. #689 SC
    October 27, 2008

    And you lie when you insist that you love and respect education, offering only as evidence that you are currently a student. When you’re given opportunities to be educated here, you ignore them. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered anyone so resistant to education. You never seem to learn anything. What you love, gasbagito, is the sound of your own abstract ramblings.

  684. #690 Christopher Harenza
    October 27, 2008

    Ms. Palin does not understand the importance of basic (pure) science. As anyone in science knows, we have learned more about humans via basic science than we have from applied science, e.g. X-rays, antibiotics, and in the case of flies, HOX genes and their role in development. Drosophila has been instruemental in the elucidation of so many biological principles, from the chromosomal theory to neurobiology. What do you expect from a woman who went to several schools and obtained a second rate degree in communications? I’d like to see her defend her views to the NIH or NSF.
    CJ Harendza

  685. #691 amk
    October 27, 2008

    clearly if domestic industries are accustomed to being protected by tariffs, and have not become efficient, a sudden removal of tariffs leads to short-term unemployment. But in the long run surely it’s still beneficial?

    “In the long run we are all dead” – and in the short term the workers can’t feed their families.

    Imagine country X is a stable nation with established property rights and the rule of law (not the case in Iraq, as you concede, so Iraq is a poor example). All its tariffs are abolished in the name of free trade, leading to the collapse of several domestic industries and mass unemployment. Surely, considering the lack of tariffs and the sudden large supply of cheap labour, global businesses will have a powerful incentive to move in and set up shop?

    And when workers cannot feed their families, they have an annoying habit of rioting and scaring off international investors. The IMF even built the expectations of riots into their plans. This can also feed any other sources of instability – the British government has claimed some Iraqis join the insurgency because they can’t get jobs. Other risks include turning on scapegoats, the rise of demagogues and civil wars over valuable resources.

    This is the route taken by several Asian countries in the last few decades, to great success.

    No, the successful route taken was gradual trade liberalisation, avoiding mass unemployment. Read Stiglitz.

    SC: what was this challenge you issued to Walton?

  686. #692 JBlilie
    October 27, 2008

    This nit wit (Palin) seems to consider herself a rising star in the GOP. Holy crap, watch out! What a miserably dull tool.

  687. #693 Patricia
    October 27, 2008

    Mover, You son, are an ass.
    The good Rev. does not always use the most foul language that small minds can think of, nor does he always engage in gutter talk from some lofty height, he is a perfect gentleman. If there are strumpets, sluts, lesbians or man-whores in the room, he lets them mud wrestle first. Now shush.

  688. #694 SC
    October 27, 2008

    amk,

    This is Walton’s acceptance of my assignment:

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/10/whoa_hitchens_endorses_obama.php#comment-1156939

    The challenge itself is in the post just above (#132).

  689. #695 Sven DiMilo
    October 27, 2008

    To promote the success of science in nice countries, like France, rather than spending it here, in the USA, a really mean and superstitious country, on the same type of research.

    You’re ignorant. It’s become clear that the particular earmark, out of the thousands and thousands available, that Palin’s speechwriters chose to have her sneer at was research on a parasite of olives that is causing huge problems in the west coast (of the U!S!A!) olive-oil industry. This parasitic fly is native to western Europe. To understand the ecology of this animal and potentially learn ways to mitigate its effects in the U!S!A!, American scientists, representing the American U!S!DA, are going to France, where the fucking fly lives. Is that clear?
    Now please STFU. Thanks.

  690. #696 Nick Gotts
    October 27, 2008

    clearly if domestic industries are accustomed to being protected by tariffs, and have not become efficient, a sudden removal of tariffs leads to short-term unemployment. But in the long run surely it’s still beneficial?… This is the route taken by several Asian countries in the last few decades, to great success. – Walton

    no, it isn’t. All these countries (with the possible exception of Hong Kong, which was a very special case, with a guaranteed influx of ultra-low wage labour) protected their nascent industries. In the long run, what you propose is likely to ensure that the country, and the majority of its people, remain in a subordinate position in the global capitalist economy – which is exactly why this is the line pushed by the IMF etc. What you propose also leads to a “race to the bottom” as poor countries offer more and more to foreign corporations – tax holidays, lack of health and safety regulations, crushing of unions…). This isn’t speculation Walton, it’s history, whatever your “libertarian” propagandists tell you.

  691. #697 Walton
    October 27, 2008

    SC, I’m genuinely sorry. I really didn’t mean to cause offence.

    Call me a liar if you wish, but I genuinely regret the fact that I seem to have pissed you off so much. Social interaction, whether online or in RL, is not my strong point. I try to be a civil and polite person; but occasionally I put my foot in it.

    I will try and fulfil your challenge over the next few days, if that’s what you really want. I know my points are not always fantastically well-researched; but in my defence, I would point out that (1) my degree (which I haven’t finished yet) is not in economics nor international relations; (2) I’m trying to work on my studies, keep fit, maintain active involvement in several groups, and still find time to comment here (which I do far too much of for my own good); and (3) I have, on several occasions here, admitted myself to be wrong when I’ve been shown evidence to that effect.

    You are perfectly entitled to think that my views are insane. Many people do. And if you think I’m an idiot or intellectually lazy, that’s your privilege. But please don’t think me a liar or a bad person. (I know I shouldn’t, objectively, take comments on the Internet so personally; but I can’t help doing so.)

  692. #698 Sven DiMilo
    October 27, 2008

    What you love, gasbagito, is the sound of your own abstract ramblings.

    SC, be careful not to refer to Walton as a “narcissist.” It bothers him.

  693. #699 SC
    October 27, 2008

    This isn’t speculation Walton, it’s history,

    It’s useless. Walton’s thick ideological coating protects him from any real historical knowledge actually sticking.

  694. #700 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    Mover,
    You could just read the nearly 700 comments here and find out.

    Those two have made other statements that are anti-science so that they can appeal to their anti-intellectual base. One of the main reasons Palin is on the ticket to begin with. Earmarks are one thing but they chose to pick on scientific based earmarks, on purpose. Because they know that being anti-science sells to the religious right and the portion of our populace that doesn’t understand the importance of good scientific research on their quality of life. That and she chose France because they know that their party has sufficiently drummed up enough anti-franco sentiment that it will sell to that same portion of the populace as well.

    So to all of your points, no.

  695. #701 Patricia
    October 27, 2008

    Poor little ol’ Walton. He’s got his wingdangdoodle all out of joint this mornin’.

  696. #702 Walton
    October 27, 2008

    Patricia, I must confess that I don’t actually understand the majority of your posts. On the rare occasions when I do understand you, it appears to be sexual innuendo with no apparent relevance to the previous remarks. Unfortunately, this severely impedes mutual communication, which I understood to be the principal goal of language. Perhaps I am abnormally naive or literal-minded.

  697. #703 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Sigh. OK, Walton, I accept your apology and your re-acceptance of my challenge. Carry on. (But be aware that if I see you spouting off about Bolivia or the people supporting Morales again, my response will be swift and intense.)

  698. #704 Nerd of Redhead
    October 27, 2008

    It’s useless. Walton’s thick ideological coating protects him from any real historical knowledge actually sticking.

    This seems to be a real problem for the self taught, like Walton and SfO. I ignore both due to the repeative nature of their posts, and the post length being longer that a screen.

  699. #705 Dragon
    October 27, 2008

    -sighs-
    I would like to know why people who think that:

    You have not got proof for ‘intelligent design’, no matter whether you have a defined imaginary friend or if you have some unnamed imaginary acquaintance, even. The fact of the matter is that all evidence points to evolution, and not only that, it is EXTREMELY disingenuous to fill the gaps with assumptions. The philosophical wanking is not amusing, please stop it.

    Also, this magic shit does not exist. Guess what allows us to think and remember? Our brains. Our genetic code. The chemical reactions in our bodies and the organic compounds that are partially obtained from the food we ingest. OMFSM, kid, have you ever had a fucking biology class?

    and:

    Why can’t we agree to disagree with the subject of science and religion? – Dragon

    Because science, although not sufficient alone, is a necessary precondition of the good life, while religion is false and harmful.

    also believe they are any better than the fundamentalist Christians they are also insulting. After all, the same concept is there: utter refusal to listen to anyone else’s belief because THEY ARE WRONG AND WHY CAN’T YOU JUST SEE THE PROOF SITTING RIGHT THERE IN YOUR FUCKING FACE because everyone has some proof for what they believe, even if it is their own personal experience. Joey, drive by you may have been, but I agree. This post has degenerated to nothing more than hate-mongering and intolerance.
    Katherine, I said that I believe magic is the same thing as energy. I did not say that I could create a magical fireball and launch it at your sorry, intolerant ass. That would have been something else entirely. What proof do I have for intelligent design? Squat. What proof do you have that lightning or volcanic explosions created a living creature out of pure chance? Squat. What proof do Christians have for Jesus to have risen from the dead? Well, at least they claim to have eye-witnesses. That, at least, is better than both of us. It is all a matter of faith and belief. Nick Gotts, not all religion and/or faith is harmful. Faith, in any religion or creed, is up to each individual. It is a choice, and not all followers of the same religion believe the same things. It is also granted in our Constitution that we may believe anything we choose to believe, and act upon that belief in any manner we choose, so long as the those actions do not infringe upon the rights of another.
    Also, it was Richard Nixon who lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote.
    I am sure that I will only be attacked more for saying these things, but there is nothing I can do but wish you the best. After all, my creed states “Harm none” very strongly. True, I do not always follow that, but almost no one holds true to all of their beliefs at all times in all circumstances.
    When I said “agree to disagree” and proceeded to state my beliefs, I concede that I used the phrase in the wrong place, and judging by the length of this post as well as the first, I probably shouldn’t have said at all. However, I don’t think that was of sufficient importance to be noted. This, however, is only my opinion, which I am perfectly allowed to say.
    “Though I may disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it.” –Voltaire (not the musician)

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wankering
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wankery
    http://www.answers.com/topic/wanker

    Regrettably, I could not find the definitions of the first two in a real dictionary. If anyone here agrees with anything I have said, then you must be as disgusted with this as I am. I’m not going to post anything more because I would be wise to pick my battles. This is not a battle worth fighting.

  700. #706 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    This post has degenerated to nothing more than hate-mongering and intolerance.

    Wrong. It is not intolerant to require someone to support the assertions they make. Especially on a blog that is set up for discussion on the topics involved.

    What proof do I have for intelligent design? Squat. What proof do you have that lightning or volcanic explosions created a living creature out of pure chance?

    Show me where anyone has made that claim?

  701. #707 SC
    October 27, 2008

    –Voltaire (not the musician)

    Nuh-uh.

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
    Though these words are regularly attributed to Voltaire, they were first used by Evelyn Beatrice Hall, writing under the pseudonym of Stephen G Tallentyre in The Friends of Voltaire (1906), as a summation of Voltaire’s beliefs on freedom of thought and expression.
    Another possible source for the quote was proposed by Norbert Guterman, editor of “A Book of French Quotations,” who noted a letter to M. le Riche (February 6, 1770) in which Voltaire is quoted as saying: “Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write” (“Monsieur l’abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrire”). This remark, however, does not appear in the letter.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Voltaire

  702. #708 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    What proof do Christians have for Jesus to have risen from the dead? Well, at least they claim to have eye-witnesses. That, at least, is better than both of us. It is all a matter of faith and belief.

    The fact you think that is true really doesn’t help your point, whatever it may be.

    The bible was culled from many “eye-witness” reports written by men many decades after Jesus’ so called resurrection. Not only that but even assuming the “eye-witness” factuality, eye-witness reports are inherently polluted by the bias of the witness. They are unreliable when not backed by other records, data, etc..

    Plus these eye witnesses were 2000 years ago and the bible has been edited, re-written, translated and fabricated since the beginning.

  703. #709 Patricia
    October 27, 2008

    Eye witnesses for jezuz.

    Ha! Now that gives me my laugh for today.

  704. #710 Patricia
    October 27, 2008

    Oh come on now BigDumbChimp, where’s all that foul mouthed gutter talk you are so reputedly full of?

  705. #711 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    Faith, in any religion or creed, is up to each individual. It is a choice, and not all followers of the same religion believe the same things. It is also granted in our Constitution that we may believe anything we choose to believe, and act upon that belief in any manner we choose, so long as the those actions do not infringe upon the rights of another.

    Your point?

    When I said “agree to disagree” and proceeded to state my beliefs, I concede that I used the phrase in the wrong place, and judging by the length of this post as well as the first, I probably shouldn’t have said at all. However, I don’t think that was of sufficient importance to be noted. This, however, is only my opinion, which I am perfectly allowed to say.

    Oh I see your point. You’re trying to say we would stifle your right to say or believe what you want. Funny. Your comment still stands here.

    We (I assume “we”) fully support everyone’s right to say whatever it is they want. But we fully retain the same right to call you to the carpet on statements you make.

    Regrettably, I could not find the definitions of the first two in a real dictionary. If anyone here agrees with anything I have said, then you must be as disgusted with this as I am. I’m not going to post anything more because I would be wise to pick my battles. This is not a battle worth fighting.

    In other words, “as can be seen above, I can not defend my position on magical thinking so I’ll scurry off so as not to have to answer the responses to my posts”.

  706. #712 Mover
    October 27, 2008

    Dear Sven DiMilo,

    I defer to your vast knowledge of fruit flies that are able to destroy California olive crops all the way from France. Just think of what your martini would be like without the treasured olive. Will it ever be the same?

    These are indeed mighty beasts that need to be annihilated from the face of the Earth before they move on to grapes (oh the humanity! A lost vat of Boone’s Farm).

    I’ll be having nightmares due to this.

  707. #713 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Thank you, Mover, for perfectly illustrating the mindset of Palin’s target audience.

  708. #714 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    Thank you for illustrating our point Mover.

  709. #715 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Ha, Rev.! Beat ya!

  710. #716 Phil Boncer
    October 27, 2008

    Nick Gotts wrote (#635): “Ludicrous garbage. The dichotomy between socialism and individualism is a false one, as democratic socialists, and anarchists, have consistently fought for individual liberties for well over a century. Unlike “libertarians”, however, we recognise that what matters is real individual liberty – for which the resources to make and follow through choices must be available – not simply an absence of government constraints; and that all individuals should be entitled to these liberties, not just those lucky enough to be born into a privileged class, or even to be born clever.”

    No, that’s the real dichotomy. Are you free to put your efforts toward the ends of your choice, or constrained to put them toward ends chosen by others? That IS real individual liberty, defined as simply as can be.

    Conversely:
    “Careless thinkers might take freedom to mean getting goodies from the state.” — Joseph R. Stromberg
    =====
    Kel wrote (#637): “So you don’t think that there’s the possibility of having an even greater liberty by having a system that has some social aspects like schools, hospitals, roads, law enforcement, etc.? Money can be taken and funded into programs that benefit society as a whole, those services can give us more liberty. All capitalism over socialism implies is pure economic freedom, money is not the only factor of life!”

    Not if the “money can be taken and funded into programs” is coerced and not voluntarily given. Coercion is the opposite of liberty; you cannot achieve liberty by coercion of the populace. Certain individuals who are inclined to harm others may have to be coerced to stop doing so, but even there it’s clear that the coercion is not for the liberty of the coerced person.

    And a voluntary capitalist system is perfectly capable of providing aspects like schools, hospitals, roads, etc. The only thing it needs government for is lawmaking and law enforcement, as those relate to dealing with those who would engage in violence, theft, fraud, property damage, or dangerous negligence.
    =====
    And SC and Parricia (and a few others), getting all up in arms about someone being abusive, then turning around and being flatly abusive to others yourself, simply for them disagreeing with you, is hypocritical, not to mention weak.

    PhilB

  711. #717 Sven DiMilo
    October 27, 2008

    I hate olives, and vermouth, hence martinis.
    Olive oil, however, is what we were talking about. At least I was. Mover was just talkin’.

  712. #718 thalarctos
    October 27, 2008

    And a voluntary capitalist system is perfectly capable of providing aspects like schools, hospitals, roads, etc.

    Because, Dog knows, when I was dying from the blood clot that eventually took out three feet of my small intestine, the only thing that would have made that experience even more perfect would have been having to comparison-shop for hospitals.

    Walton, this is exactly the kind of scenario that I was talking about when I said libertarianism requires being a denialist about a great deal of biology. Sounds great in theory late at night when the wine is flowing freely, but the transaction costs mean it’s hopeless in application.

  713. #719 SC
    October 27, 2008

    No, that’s the real dichotomy. Are you free to put your efforts toward the ends of your choice, or constrained to put them toward ends chosen by others? That IS real individual liberty, defined as simply as can be.

    …And SC and Parricia (and a few others), getting all up in arms about someone being abusive, then turning around and being flatly abusive to others yourself, simply for them disagreeing with you, is hypocritical, not to mention weak.

    Boncer is a simpleton so far out of his intellectual (and I use the term loosely in his case) depth I’m surprised his head hasn’t been crushed by the extreme pressure.

  714. #720 Mover
    October 27, 2008

    Sven DiMilo,

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Doesn’t olive oil come from olives?

  715. #721 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 27, 2008

    You mean you never heard of drilling for olive oil?

  716. #722 Carlie
    October 27, 2008

    Olive oil, however, is what we were talking about.

    Isn’t that what they use to cook up that elitist arugula crap with? ;)

  717. #723 The Swiss
    October 27, 2008

    “This sort of thing is no longer shocking to me.”

    This lack of shock shocks me. How can the media pretty much ignore this? But mayby I’m just European.

  718. #724 Carlie
    October 27, 2008

    And SC and Parricia (and a few others), getting all up in arms about someone being abusive, then turning around and being flatly abusive to others yourself, simply for them disagreeing with you, is hypocritical, not to mention weak.

    My inability to grasp the point of the discussion, let me show you it.

  719. #725 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Doesn’t olive oil come from olives?

    Oh, yeah? Then why are there still MARTINIS+NACHOS?

  720. #726 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 27, 2008

    And why would you want to eat nachos with your martinis?

  721. #727 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    Sven DiMilo,

    Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Doesn’t olive oil come from olives?

    Are you really going to try and make a point that studying insect pests and their effects on crops that we grow in the US is unimportant?

  722. #728 Sven DiMilo
    October 27, 2008

    grill, baby, grill

  723. #729 Rey Fox
    October 27, 2008

    Why is it that these people who piss and moan about a few million dollars going to some scientific project that doesn’t immediately benefit them and only them never seem to mind to multiple billions of dollars thrown into military quagmires? I guess they don’t understand science, but they like explosions. No wonder Jerry Bruckheimer donated to McCain’s campaign.

  724. #730 Sven DiMilo
    October 27, 2008

    sauté, baby, sauté

  725. #731 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    Why is it that these people who piss and moan about a few million dollars going to some scientific project that doesn’t immediately benefit them and only them never seem to mind to multiple billions of dollars thrown into military quagmires? I guess they don’t understand science, but they like explosions. No wonder Jerry Bruckheimer donated to McCain’s campaign.

    Exactly. Ignoring the effect on people’s livelihood (or not actually), there’s a lot more to “Homeland Security” than Abram tanks and M4 Carbines.

  726. #732 SC
    October 27, 2008

    And a voluntary capitalist system is perfectly capable of providing aspects like schools, hospitals, roads, etc.

    Shill, baby, shill.

  727. #733 windy
    October 27, 2008

    Mover, how would you feel about spending that earmark money on studying species delineation and genetics of harbor seals?

  728. #734 windy
    October 27, 2008

    Are you really going to try and make a point that studying insect pests and their effects on crops that we grow in the US is unimportant?

    The so-called crop plants are just plants that couldn’t make it in the competitive ecosystem and decided to freeload on us humans. It’s time to end this artificial regulation of insect “pests” and let the plants compete on the free market.

  729. #735 Dave Godfrey
    October 27, 2008

    Mover:

    The Olive Fruit Fly is native to Eurasia and Africa, but has migrated to California when the olive trees were transplanted. Unfortunately its natural predators did not come with it, and so it can spread unchecked. Going back to its native habitat to look for natural predators that will control it is the logical thing to do.

  730. #736 Saskboy
    October 27, 2008

    “And a voluntary capitalist system is perfectly capable of providing aspects like schools, hospitals, roads, etc.”

    Capable would imply that it would actually happen. Communism is also capable of the same thing.

  731. #737 Prometevsberg
    October 27, 2008

    Everybody ignores the obvious: Palin thinks the most efficient way to combat the Olive fruit fly is to have them shot from helicopters with a bounty of $ 150 per head.
    But I believe the research is being done in Montpelier, not Paris..? that is, Montpelier, France…

  732. #738 Nick Gotts
    October 27, 2008

    Are you free to put your efforts toward the ends of your choice, or constrained to put them toward ends chosen by others? That IS real individual liberty, defined as simply as can be. – Phil Boncer

    Sure it is, but maximising liberty for the rich often tends to minimise it for the poor. According to your political viewpoint, if one person has managed to get hold of all the food in a famine (without force or fraud, just by being clever, lucky, or rich to start with), and chooses to let others starve in order to maximise their own gain, we should respect their right to do so. After all, that’s “real individual liberty”. Myself, I’d back the starving taking the food by force in those circumstances; I choose the right not to starve over the rights of property. This example, by the way, is not arbitrarily chosen; in famines, people almost always die because they cannot afford the food that is available (because a few people have managed to get hold of most of it), not because there is none at all. But hey, as long as there has been no force or fraud, what are they moaning about? Oh, they’re moaning because they’re starving? Well, it’s their own stupid fault for being born poor.

    Oh, and about “your efforts”. You, Phil, like all human beings, have benefitted from the talents and efforts of countless others, both your contemporaries; and the dead going back hundreds of thousands of years, without whom all “your efforts” would be in vain, and who can receive nothing from you. You are also, I would guess, (like me) among the beneficiaries of several centuries of violence, theft and fraud on the part of European and Euro-American imperialists. But you’re convinced you owe no responsibility to those less lucky than you. Well Phil, if necessary I am quite prepared to coerce the greedy and selfish, by democratic means, to share the good things of life more fairly – and to be coerced in this direction myself (that is, I’m prepared to be obliged to pay taxes for public goods and the abolition of poverty, but only if others pay also). The anti-democratic nature of “libertarian” thinking is seldom stated explicitly, but it seems a quite obvious implication of what you say that even if taxation for public health or education is overwhelmingly and provably the choice of the majority, you feel you would be morally justified to resist it by force.

  733. #739 Nick Gotts
    October 27, 2008

    windy@734 wins the thread!

  734. #740 Patricia
    October 27, 2008

    Is it me he’s trying to say was abusive?
    I haven’t even used the ‘F’ word today. Sheesh.

  735. #741 Wowbagger
    October 27, 2008

    SC, #677, wrote:

    You can’t name the specific qualities that would lead you to call a woman a bitch, but you think it’s at times the “most apt” term to describe someone? The fact that you can’t define it with any specificity is your rationale for using it? Huh?

    Apologies – I didn’t explain that correctly. I didn’t mean that I would use the term when I couldn’t think of other words; it was that I couldn’t find the words to describe a hypothetical situation in which I would be prompted to use it – because I can’t think of the last occasion on which I’ve been inspired to refer to someone as a bitch. But I think I’ve come up with something.

    Okay, here goes: if my sister-in-law is in a bad mood about something and is slamming doors and insulting me – as she sometimes does – I’d think about calling her a bitch, based on her actions.

    But that’s the only time I’d use it. It’s linked to a particular situation or behaviour, and never to a generic comment to demean or denigrate a woman or women in general.

    I suspect that it’s the sociolinguistic differences between Australia and the US that are fueling this, since, AFAIK, men ‘down under’ only use the term bitch in situations like the one I’ve described – when it’s in reference to a specific behaviour. It’s rare that it’s used otherwise – at least in any of the social circles I’ve been part of. It really doesn’t mean the same thing at all.

  736. #742 SC
    October 27, 2008

    But that’s the only time I’d use it. It’s linked to a particular situation or behaviour, and never to a generic comment to demean or denigrate a woman or women in general.

    I appreciate your response. I still don’t think you’re responding to my comment @ #667, though. It’s the possibility of this situation/behavior-specific usage (which exists in the US too and which isn’t entirely unproblematic itself, especially for men, but that aside) that’s relatively far less offensive and thus can occasionally make interpretation a bit more complicated. But that isn’t how it’s been used here. No one was pointing to specific behaviors on the part of Palin or the woman who filed the false report about the Obama supporter, for example, and calling them bitchy on that basis; nor have people been able to justify its use after the fact in terms of specific behaviors – and you’ve said you wouldn’t qualify Palin’s behavior as bitchy as you understand it in any way. If it’s never used as a generic disparaging term there, I would expect that to hear it used as such here would lead Australians to question or challenge rather than accept or defend it.

  737. #743 Phil Boncer
    October 27, 2008

    Nick Gotts wrote (#738): “Well Phil, if necessary I am quite prepared to coerce the greedy and selfish, by democratic means, to share the good things of life more fairly – and to be coerced in this direction myself (that is, I’m prepared to be obliged to pay taxes for public goods and the abolition of poverty, but only if others pay also). The anti-democratic nature of “libertarian” thinking is seldom stated explicitly, but it seems a quite obvious implication of what you say that even if taxation for public health or education is overwhelmingly and provably the choice of the majority, you feel you would be morally justified to resist it by force.”

    So there it is, you are explicitly OK with using force against people for the “crime” of being wealthy. There is a demonstration of the evil of socialism right there.

    I am not “anti-democratic”; I think demoncratcy is a fine way to decide a lot of unimportant things. But the stuff that matters is NOT properly subject to a vote. It doesn’t matter what percentage votes for it, it still would not be right to kick out the blacks or round up the Jews or steal everything from the wealthy just because most people wanted to.

    The founders of this country spent a lot of effort designing our governance, and wrote the Constitution carefully, to try to avoid the excesses of democracy, to avoid the tyranny of the majority.

    So there it is — I (and a few others here) am in favor of liberty and individual human rights. You (and a frightening number of others here) are in favor of socialism.

    It’s sad that the lessons of history are so hard to learn. I hope it can be correctly resolved peaceably over time, and not require those who wish to defend their liberty to do so actively again.

    Regardless of all this, I’m going out of town for a week, so y’all can have fun without me.

    PhilB

  738. #744 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Oh, and I neglected to mention in #667: In two of the recent threads it was also accompanied (in the same comment or others) by expressions of desired violence against the woman in question. If there had been any question of casual or intentional misogyny in these threads – and, really, there wasn’t – that should have settled it right there.

  739. #745 Wowbagger
    October 27, 2008

    SC wrote:

    I still don’t think you’re responding to my comment @ #667, though.

    If you mean do I agree with how the term’s been used to describe Palin in this thread then the answer is no. I agree 100% with what you’ve written on the topic in this thread: the term has been used in its misogynistic, catch-all sense to describe women, and I wouldn’t attempt to justify its usage or try and rationalise that it’d been used in any way other than that.

    My initial question was asked solely in order to gain a better understanding of what the word meant to different people in different contexts.

  740. #746 Steve_C
    October 27, 2008

    Hey Phil. It’s called a progressive tax code. Not socialism.

    Socialism is nationalizing banks and buying investment firms…
    OOPS guess Bush is a socialist.

    Quit quaking in your boots and getting the vay-puhs.

    But I dare you to take a pot shot when the IRS comes calling.

  741. #747 Newton
    October 27, 2008

    I agree. However, please don’t denigrate Loons. They are far more noble than Ms. Palin.

  742. #748 Rey Fox
    October 27, 2008

    Won’t someone please think of the poor rich people? Will no one shed a tear for them as they are forced to give up their dream of owning a fifth car or a third home?

  743. #749 Steve_C
    October 27, 2008

    “You’ll pry my Bahamian Tax Shelter from my COLD DEAD HANDS!”

  744. #750 SC
    October 27, 2008

    If you mean do I agree with how the term’s been used to describe Palin in this thread then the answer is no. I agree 100% with what you’ve written on the topic in this thread: the term has been used in its misogynistic, catch-all sense to describe women, and I wouldn’t attempt to justify its usage or try and rationalise that it’d been used in any way other than that.

    Cool. Thank you for saying that.

    For the record, I was actually referring to this one (or the direction it seemed to be heading), the one about the false-report filer, and “A Real, True American Woman.”

    My initial question was asked solely in order to gain a better understanding of what the word meant to different people in different contexts.

    OK. I’ll say, though, that I don’t understand the attachment people seem to show to words like this, when there are plenty of better words that can be used that have no potential misogynistic connotations. Again, I just cannot imagine some men – my father, for example, when he was alive – even thinking it, let alone saying it. I find this whole “But is it a slur to use it then? How about then?” quite curious. I’m not trying to implicate you here in any way, or suggest that you’re a misogynist. For what it’s worth, I’ve always really enjoyed your comments and haven’t found them at all offensive, and I appreciate your asking for my thoughts on this.

  745. #751 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Boncer: Regardless of all this, I’m going out of town for a week, so y’all can have fun without me.

    Posted by: Steve_C | October 27, 2008 8:05 PM

    Posted by: Rey Fox | October 27, 2008 8:15 PM

    Posted by: Steve_C | October 27, 2008 8:20 PM

    Don’t know about anyone else, but I’m already having fun (and Nick hasn’t even responded yet).

  746. #752 Wowbagger
    October 27, 2008

    SC,

    Glad we sorted that out.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve always really enjoyed your comments and haven’t found them at all offensive, and I appreciate your asking for my thoughts on this.

    Thanks – likewise.

  747. #753 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Glad we sorted that out.

    Me too, and thanks. :)

  748. #754 Rey Fox
    October 27, 2008

    “that I don’t understand the attachment people seem to show to words like this”

    I don’t agree with everything you say about when or how certain words should be used, but I also find it rather odd just how pissy people get when you call them out. As if the right to call people cunts was somehow fundamental to their very being. As if it were somehow equivalent to actually being oppressed in some way.

  749. #755 Steve_C
    October 27, 2008

    The Schadenfeude will be delicious on November 5th.

    Now THAT will be fun.

    This is fun too. Fox HATES it when you call them biased. I suspect that the Obama administration will be relentless in their calling them on their bullshit.

    Fun, fun, FUN.

  750. #756 Kel
    October 27, 2008

    As if the right to call people cunts was somehow fundamental to their very being.

    It’s a fundamental right in Australia

  751. #757 SC
    October 27, 2008

    It’s a fundamental right in Australia

    I can’t tell if you’re missing Rey’s point or making a joke.

  752. #758 JALAND
    October 27, 2008

    By all means let’s pretend all scientific research is good and worth the money. Next year we will likely have a $800 BILLION dollar deficit and a dead economy… Spend baby spend!!! Don’t worry about how we are gonna pay the $53- $96 TRILLION in unfunded liabilities over the next 30 years. Its Ok as long as we study global warming or some other “scientific” fad of the day. But I guess being a “researcher” beats the hell out of competing with the Japanese on robotics.

  753. #759 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    But I guess being a “researcher” beats the hell out of competing with the Japanese on robotics.

    you do realize that’s science too?

    What an idiot.

  754. #760 The MadPanda
    October 27, 2008

    Rev, please! Don’t insult the poor, simple idiots!

    This is an example of deliberate and willful stupid, instead.

    The MadPanda, FCD

  755. #761 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    Yeah sorry. Dumbfuck maybe?

    I’m sure Mr. “doesn’t know shit” above there doesn’t realize the safe food he eats, the clean water he drinks, the medicine he takes, the computer he uses and a multitude of other things are a direct result of scientific research.

    Fucking dumbass.

  756. #762 SC
    October 27, 2008

    Fun, fun, FUN.

    ‘Til their armies blow our asses awa-ay.

    (Sorry. The right scares me. I’ve seen what they’re capable of.)

  757. #763 The MadPanda
    October 27, 2008

    Exactly, Rev!

    Although, in all candor, I was thinking more along the lines of ‘muddy-mettled lack-witted turnip’ instead.

    Hmm. Now where’d I put that Shakespearean Insult Generator?

    The MadPanda, FCD

  758. #764 newton
    October 27, 2008

    Post # 160

    Fox news IS NOT THE FAVORITE AMERICAN NEWS CHANEL!!! Please, expand your search of American News. Fox is Republican. Need I say more?

  759. #765 Jeff Mpls
    October 27, 2008

    Palin is who Isaac Asimov was thinking of when he wrote:

    “Imagine the people who are not be ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes.”

  760. #766 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 27, 2008

    I love that quote. It is so appropriate for Palin et al.

  761. #767 Mover
    October 28, 2008

    Patricia: “Mover, You son, are an ass…. Now shush.”

    Patricia,

    I know these comments can be confusing, so let me help you out. When I posted the list of possible reasons, it was in response to the good Rev.’s post that I had missed the point. It in no way reflected on the good rev.’s post itself, but rather on the many posts by responders to this blog that I read and found wanting in any level of civilized decorum.

    Oh, and if I’m your son, you reveal your age to be at least 70 years of age. I wish you at least another 70 happy birthdays, Ma.

  762. #768 Nick Gotts
    October 28, 2008

    I am not “anti-democratic”; I think demoncratcy is a fine way to decide a lot of unimportant things. – Phil Boncer

    In other words, you’re anti-democratic.

    But the stuff that matters is NOT properly subject to a vote. It doesn’t matter what percentage votes for it, it still would not be right to kick out the blacks or round up the Jews – Phil Boncer

    Agreed. Democracy implies the right of everyone to continue taking part in democratic decision-making. Therefore killing, expelling or disenfranchising voters is anti-democratic whatever the majority in favour of it.

    or steal everything from the wealthy just because most people wanted to.

    However, you can still take part in democratic politics without being wealthy, so taking wealth from the rich by legislative means is not anti-democratic. You think property rights should be absolute; I don’t. You, as I said and you did not deny, would allow the rich to starve the poor to death in order to increase their wealth further (as indeed they do in capitalism); I wouldn’t – in fact I’d say it was evidence of the monstrous evil of “libertarianism”.

    The founders of this country spent a lot of effort designing our governance, and wrote the Constitution carefully, to try to avoid the excesses of democracy, to avoid the tyranny of the majority.
    Ther founders of your country were mostly racist, sexist, snobbish, slaveholding hypocrites. They devised the constitution to keep their kind in power, and on the whole very successfully. The USA was built on slavery and land theft on an enormous scale – are you going to give all the land back? Compensate the descendants of the slaves? If not, stop prating about “theft”.

  763. #769 Mover
    October 29, 2008

    #678

    “Science is an international enterprise. ….”

    Oh, let me be clearer for those who are way above my pay grade.

    I support research in almost all areas that researchers can dream up. It all returns some value in the long run.

    My objection in this thread is that partisans are using a one-liner in a speech to condemn one person, a politician, and are using it as a wedge to garner favor for their preferred candidate/political party.

    The fact is nearly none of our representatives in government, at all levels, have any insight to any scientific endeavor. They just cast their votes in a way that will promote their continued position of power until they move on to more power (or get found out). Gov. Palin looks a whole lot like the kind of person the founders envisioned, i.e., a citizen representative.

    Now, a lot of partisans have been running around whining about President Bush’s position on climate change and linking McCain to Bush, as if McCain is going to continue Bush policies. Well, there is no doubt that McCain will keep some of Bush’s policies, like keeping taxes lower than Obama would, but one of the reasons the media labeled McCain as a “maverick” was because he often differs with Bush in policy positions.

    Climate change is one of them where Bush and McCain have parted company.

    I imagine that McCain will be spending plenty of money on research since he does support it and it looks like he will have a tax-and-spend congress that will pork up everything they send to him to sign.

    Oh, and Bush supports lots of research as well. Just go to Whitehouse.gov and search for “science” (as I did). It will reveal policy statements, appropriations, programs, etc. that President Bush supports. I know, I know. It’s all a lie, right? Well, it only takes a little research to find out if they are lying or not. So, help yourself.

    Also, try to remember how your tax dollars get allocated. And this is important:

    Only the US Congress can allocate tax dollars, not the president.

    The president tells congress what he/she needs to pay the bills and the congress throws that into the circular file after extracting some talking points. Then congress porks up some spending bills after much over the top blustering, then sends it to the President to make it the law of the land.

    The bottom line is the President has only the bully pulpit and the veto pen to stop congress from running up the tab. The president, whoever it is, is not your enemy or the enemy of science.

    It’s the US Congress that you have to influence. And, good luck with that. I believe they only respond to high visibility stories in the legacy media and big dollar donors, such as the Chinese and George Soros.

  764. #770 Steve_C
    October 29, 2008

    Ohhh noes! It’s the SOROS! Run for your lives!!!!

    Such a joke.

  765. #771 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 29, 2008

    Mover,

    Pick up The Republican War on Science

    You’ll get a good idea exactly how anti-science the current administration and the GOP is.

  766. #772 Nick Gotts
    October 29, 2008

    Mover,
    The Bush regime has systematically tried to change or censor scientific findings for political reasons, to an extent vastly greater than any previous administration. See for example

    http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/abuses_of_science/a-to-z-guide-to-political.html,
    Chris Mooney’s The Republican War on Science, and complaints by leading NASA climate scientist James Hansen. It is possible McCain would be better (he at least acknowledges the reality of anthropogenic global warming), but Palin, with her brazen rejection of science with regard to both evolution and climate change, would almost certainly be worse. How can a woman who believes the Earth is 6000 years old be anything other than disastrous for science, and indeed, for us all?

  767. #773 Mover
    October 29, 2008

    #700

    I see, you and your like-minded friends are “intellectuals” and should be the class of Americans that make all the decisions.

    That attitude seems vaguely familiar.

    I don’t believe that I am aware of all those religious and uninitiated multitudes who are anti-science. I personally don’t know anyone who is anti-science. I’m a big science and science fiction fan. I love the works of Asimov, Vonnegut, Heinlein and Clark and read Popular Science and lifehacker a lot. Besides, there are only a few minor religious outfits that have virtually no influence on government spending, so I don’t worry about them.

    But, if your primary concern is embryonic stem cell research, then I can see why you might have a problem with people who believe in the sanctity of human life (and it would help explain supporting the political party of death). But, there are lots of places to get stem cells. I’ve just recently learned that viable human stem cells have been successfully extracted from human body fat. There are tons of that in this country.

    Just a thought, do you, being real smart and all, think that the government is encouraging some of the multitudes to get fat so their lobbyists from BIG FAT can charge the uneducated masses to suck out their chubby stem cells and sell it sell to France?

    Just remember while you’re being all full of yourself, it is those multitudes that make science possible.

  768. #774 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 29, 2008

    But, if your primary concern is embryonic stem cell research, then I can see why you might have a problem with people who believe in the sanctity of human life (and it would help explain supporting the political party of death). But, there are lots of places to get stem cells. I’ve just recently learned that viable human stem cells have been successfully extracted from human body fat. There are tons of that in this country.

    What’s your take on fertility clinics?

  769. #775 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 29, 2008

    I like this Mover better.

  770. #776 Nick Gotts
    October 29, 2008

    I don’t believe that I am aware of all those religious and uninitiated multitudes who are anti-science. – Mover

    I think it’s clear to most here that you’re not aware of very much. You might start with all the creationist dingbats trying to get their lies into science classrooms.

    But, there are lots of places to get stem cells. I’ve just recently learned that viable human stem cells have been successfully extracted from human body fat. – Mover

    Adult stem cells have not been shown to have the same properties as embryonic stem cells. Unless and until this is shown, it is scientifically vital to have access to both.

  771. #777 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 29, 2008

    Methinks that Mover is trying to find the Prime Mover of Aristotle.

  772. #778 SC
    October 29, 2008

    You mean to tell me that rant @ #773 was sincere? I thought it was a Hardt-&-Negri parody (may be redundant).

  773. #779 Mover
    October 29, 2008

    #772

    FYI: The VP cannot make any law and cannot sign any bill into law. She can only break ties in the US Senate. You know, like when the president’s spunky sidekick, Algore, intellectual and taker of the initiative to invent the beloved internet, signed the largest tax increase in the history of this nation. Now, with the reports that the mushbrains will be getting 60 votes in the Senate, how often to you think she will have to exercise that duty over 8 years (before she becomes president)?

    BTW: FYI: Evolution is a theory that has taken on the characteristics of a faith based religion. Lots of followers, lots of data from experimental models and theories, lots of experts, lots of “evidence”, lots of agreement, lots of similarities of species, and even more recently, a theory on how life was sparked into existence from Campbell’s primordial soup. Evolutionists have faith that all this will be proven to be true in time.

    BTW: BTW: I have a hard time believing the whole 2000 year old story that goes like, ‘Honey, I’m pregnant, and God is the father. We’re still getting married, right?’ thingee in a time when an unwed mother was more likely to be stoned to death at the prompting of her father and the intellectuals of the time. But that does negate the faith that this world and our ability to contemplate our own deaths, unlike any other time-modified creature showing signs of life, was not an accident of nature.

  774. #780 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 29, 2008

    Why is “evidence” in quotes. Is all this evidence false?

  775. #781 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 29, 2008

    BTW: FYI: Evolution is a theory that has taken on the characteristics of a faith based religion. Lots of followers, lots of data from experimental models and theories, lots of experts, lots of “evidence”, lots of agreement, lots of similarities of species, and even more recently, a theory on how life was sparked into existence from Campbell’s primordial soup. Evolutionists have faith that all this will be proven to be true in time.

    Um no. Not faith. Verifiable research that has hard data and makes predictions in many different fields all continually supporting the ToE, not destroying it.

    Of all the ignorant things you’ve said, this is the most ignorant.

  776. #782 Janine ID AKA The Lone Drinker
    October 29, 2008

    Chimpy, I think you just “proved” to the unmoved Mover that you are merely a follower by your defense of the theory. But I also think that Mover does not understand what a theory is in the science vernacular.

    Hint to Mover, a theory is higher up the ladder then a fact. Theory is used to explain facts.

  777. #783 Nerd or Redhead
    October 29, 2008

    Janine, it appears Mover is just another preelection troll that has a brain the size of a mosquito. I’ll be happy when the election is over. Then we might get back to regular programming.

  778. #784 Steve_C
    October 29, 2008

    Stop lying Mover. Stop being a dumbass.

    Go hang out at the Corner. You’re nothing but a troll.

    Sarah Palin is the one who doesn’t seem to understand what her role is. Her lack of depth and McCain’s lack of ideas or direction are why they’re going to lose in a landslide.

    Everyone else knows that the VP is there to breaks ties and also to be ready to step into the president’s shoes should the president become unable to perform his duties. It’s McCain who thinks the VP choice is just a cynical choice to get a bump in the polls and to hang on to your base. That’s why neither Palin or McCain really want to talk about what Palin’s qualifications are…

    Mover, you’re not speaking truth to your opponents, you’re spouting lies and talking points that Fox, Drudge and McCain are feeding you. It’s boring and not even a challenge.

  779. #785 Rey Fox
    October 29, 2008

    I believe what Mover is trying to say is that he recently purchased the Jumbo-Size Right Wing Buzzword Pack, and thus he somehow thinks that Sarah Palin is competent and has everyone’s best interests in mind.

  780. #786 Steve_C
    October 29, 2008

    Anyone who spouts the Al Gore claims he invented the internet meme has swallowed the right wings crap hook line and sinker.

    McCain’s own advisors are now talking about how they feel like Palin has scammed them and that she’s got the knife kit already sharpened.

    The GOP backstabbing and bloodletting is gonna be ugly November 5th.

    Bring popcorn, it’s gonna be gorier than Saw V.

  781. #787 Kel
    October 29, 2008

    FYI: Evolution is a theory that has taken on the characteristics of a faith based religion. Lots of followers, lots of data from experimental models and theories, lots of experts, lots of “evidence”, lots of agreement, lots of similarities of species, and even more recently, a theory on how life was sparked into existence from Campbell’s primordial soup. Evolutionists have faith that all this will be proven to be true in time.

    Wow, that was just terrible. There’s plenty of disagreement over mechanisms for evolution, the only agreement is that evolution happened. And the reason for that is that all the evidence points to evolution. Also abiogenesis is not evolution – it’s to do with the origin of life, not the origin of species.

  782. #788 Natalie
    October 29, 2008

    779 – biggest tax increase in history? Only if you don’t factor in population growth and inflation. Both Reagan and FDR enacted larger tax increases. See http://www.factcheck.org/treasury_tax_expert_to_bush_clintons_increase.html

  783. #789 Nick Gotts
    October 29, 2008

    FYI: The VP cannot make any law and cannot sign any bill into law. She can only break ties in the US Senate. – Mover

    Good grief, what a dolt. McSenile is a 72-year-old cancer and (at least by his own account) torture survivor, who by common observation is by no means the man he was 8 years ago. He’s quite likely to die or become incapacitated within 4 years. Come to think of it, do you really believe Cheney has limited himself to breaking ties in the Senate these last 8 years.

    On the theory of evolution: wise up, moron. Only in Dumbfuckistan is there any doubt about its validity.

    But that does negate the faith that this world and our ability to contemplate our own deaths, unlike any other time-modified creature showing signs of life, was not an accident of nature. – Mover

    English translation please.

  784. #790 Mover
    October 30, 2008

    #780

    The word evidence is in quotes because some folks believe that many times scientists don’t get it right. You know, like the ones who Claimed “Global Cooling” in the 1970s: Who said eating eggs was killing us, then they weren’t, then they are again (but not so much) and who claim that second hand smoke is killing 400,000 Americans each year (in recent commercials), up from 3000 each year (but is on no certificate of death): Those scientists that predict 18, no 16, no 21, no 12, hurricanes each year. These guys can accurately see back in time for millions of years, showing why there are sand pipers and egrets, house cats and tigers, whales and carp, by adopting popular theory and experiments using equipment that they also invented with data they are sure is accurate. Just think, every year researchers find ways to refine their techniques and prove that some prior data was absolutely wrong.

    I would not want to take away from those scientists and researchers that brought us Apollo 11, Pong, the polio vaccine, silly putty, the microchip, microwave ovens, nuclear power, and LCD TVs. But the most overused term being used over the last 2 decades is “expert”. Everyone makes mistakes, me included. Scientists are no different.

    Evolution looks very good and yet, it is still just a theory, like the big bang, relativity, time travel and UFOs (I find time travel to be fun to contemplate, but impossible).

  785. #791 Nerd of Redhead
    October 30, 2008

    Mover, I see you’re back as another RW idiot.

    Scientific theory means well tested and supported by evidence. In the case of evolution, this probably around a million, give or take a hundred thousand or so, scientific papers backing evolution, and essentially zero disproving it. It doesn’t get any better than that.

    This compares to UFO’s, Palin’s intelligence, time travel, god, inerrant bible, and your ability to actually think through something.

  786. #792 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 30, 2008

    The word evidence is in quotes because some folks believe that many times scientists don’t get it right.

    Wow you really trumpet the tenets of bad logic.

    The Science was wrong before gambit is an old and tired one.

  787. #793 windy
    October 30, 2008

    I hirden går én, som er bare til mén.
    Tro ham vârt, han er ond og svart.
    Translation Please?

    In the troop there is one who’s nothing but a drag.
    Don’t trust him(?), he’s mean and black.

  788. #794 SC
    October 30, 2008

    I’m starting to believe we can get this thread to 1000. Why that should matter, I have no idea.

  789. #795 Sven DiMilo
    October 30, 2008

    Jeez, Mover…cut it out. My eye-rolling muscles are cramping up again.
    You seriously equate evolution–the central unifying principle of modern biology–with UFOs and time travel??? “Just a theory”??
    You do not know anything about science. You don’t know the current state of knowledge, you don’t know the data and observations that support that knowledge, you don’t know the process and how it works, and you don’t know the underpinning philosophy of that process.
    And yet you come to a blog run by a scientist and read by scientists (and, of course, others) and expect anybody to care about your ill-considered opinion of evolution or time travel?

    Ignorance + arrogance really pushes my buttons.

  790. #796 Mover
    October 30, 2008

    #782

    A “theory is higher up the ladder then a fact. Theory is used to explain facts.”

    Is that higher, as in higher on the evolutionary scale?

    #791

    I know the difference between barroom theories (guesses) and scientific theory (backed by some evidence). And I have no doubt that critters, people, cats, whales, etc., have changed over time.

    I do not insist that Darwin’s origin of species theories aren’t worthwhile or true. But I understand he has this near the end of his book..

    “[P]robably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.”

    Question: Who, or what, “first breathed” life into inanimate matter?

    What I do insist is that Darwin’s followers, in ever increasing numbers, use the theory of evolution as another evidence for their atheism. Not that I really care what others believe, but the ones I’ve spoken to are rather excitable on this topic. Much like some folks here. The argument I hear most these days is that man evolved the same way everything else did and there is no intelligence in the design. It’s just natural selection, adaptation, mutation, heritable traits, etc. But no one as yet is able to prove or provide evidence of how all of this got started (the spark in the primordial soup), though I’ve read a discussion on it (Robert M. Hazen – Origins of Life). And no explanation of why it is that human beings, alone among the Earth’s critters, can and are many times consumed with his self awareness, future and death. Did that come about naturally? Does science fiction become fact? Asimov’s positronic brain had enough connections to become self aware and we work the same way?

    I await your enlightenment.

    #789

    “McSenile ” is a tough old bird. Or hadn’t you noticed? You shouldn’t worry about funding scientific projects under McCain. Recall that he has a record of voting with Bush, and Bush has authorized billions in scientific research with a Republican congress and with the Democrats, as well. I thought you guys like “reaching across the aisle”? Which kinda makes this entire thread just therapy for some worry warts.

    “English translation please.”

    Human beings are aware that we won’t live forever, we plan for the future and some accomplish things that will put them in the memory of future generations, a pseudo immortality. You know, like Darwin. Dogs, cats, fish, spiders, elephants, whales, etc., etc., have no such thoughts (as far as we know).

    “Time modified” is another description of critters changing over time, according the Church of Evolution.

    “Accident of nature” implies that there was no “intelligent designer” involved with the process as atheists want to believe.

    #792
    “The appeal to “science was wrong before”” does not apply. My argument is not that the theory is entirely wrong. My argument is that people, scientists, researchers, etc., make mistakes and while they have a pretty good argument and consensus, again I’m not convinced that it proves an absence of intelligence on the designs, especially when it comes to the starting fluid.

  791. #797 Becca
    October 30, 2008

    You can reach this discussion under the SB splash page “hot topics”. The link reads: “Palin discredits fruit fly research”. “Palin disparages fruit fly research” would be more accurate, but it really should read “Fruit flies discredit Palin”.

  792. #798 Nerd of Redhead
    October 30, 2008

    Mover, you make the typical illiterate mistake of comparing evolution to abiogenisis, which is a different kettle of fish that evolution. However, there is evidence available that does indicated that there is no need for a creator at any point during the synthesis of the original molecules of life, or at any point to forming life.

    If a designer is needed, why don’t your write up a paper and submit it to the scientific journals instead of carping about it here? I’m sure you’re so brilliant you can get it published in Science or Nature and win a Nobel prize. Or else your whole idea is punch of religious bullshit and will be considered as such, with the paper rejected as non-scientific. You need a better argument than that shit to get us to consider god.

    If you have anything to offer to the discussion other than RW bullet points, do so. Otherwise, go away. You are getting very monotonous.

  793. #799 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 30, 2008

    I do not insist that Darwin’s origin of species theories aren’t worthwhile or true. But I understand he has this near the end of his book..

    “[P]robably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.”

    Question: Who, or what, “first breathed” life into inanimate matter?

    Do you also realize that it was written nearly 150 years ago and the science done between then and now has added exponential amounts of information and made many changes to the theory? Just because Darwin lived in a time that he did with the cultural and social ways they had does not mean we have to continue to honor them. Especially in the absence of any evidence of a designer.

    What I do insist is that Darwin’s followers, in ever increasing numbers, use the theory of evolution as another evidence for their atheism.

    Which has exactly zero bearing on the validity of the Theory.

    But no one as yet is able to prove or provide evidence of how all of this got started (the spark in the primordial soup),

    But inroads are being made (Miller-Urey). Lack of results and or data on the subject does not automatically mean you can insert God as the answer, again especially with all evidence of God lacking.

    “Accident of nature” implies that there was no “intelligent designer” involved with the process as atheists want to believe.

    As soon as someone can show actual design and prove it is design then the scientific community will be happy to embrace it. “Accident of nature” is your term.

    “The appeal to “science was wrong before”” does not apply. My argument is not that the theory is entirely wrong. My argument is that people, scientists, researchers, etc., make mistakes and while they have a pretty good argument and consensus, again I’m not convinced that it proves an absence of intelligence on the designs, especially when it comes to the starting fluid.

    No it applies exactly to what you said above

    The word evidence is in quotes because some folks believe that many times scientists don’t get it right. You know, like the ones who Claimed “Global Cooling” in the 1970s: Who said eating eggs was killing us, then they weren’t, then they are again (but not so much) and who claim that second hand smoke is killing 400,000 Americans each year (in recent commercials), up from 3000 each year (but is on no certificate of death): Those scientists that predict 18, no 16, no 21, no 12, hurricanes each year. These guys can accurately see back in time for millions of years, showing why there are sand pipers and egrets, house cats and tigers, whales and carp, by adopting popular theory and experiments using equipment that they also invented with data they are sure is accurate. Just think, every year researchers find ways to refine their techniques and prove that some prior data was absolutely wrong.

    Yes. That’s exactly what you were saying.

    Here’s a good read on why Evolution is both a fact and a theory.

  794. #800 SC
    October 30, 2008

    Becca,

    I saw and was bothered by that same headline. “Discredit” the research, she did not.

  795. #801 teJAS
    October 30, 2008

    It looks like Palin has energized Obama’s base, too. Early voting has started in most states. Get it on.

  796. #802 Nick Gotts
    October 31, 2008

    You know, like the ones who Claimed “Global Cooling” in the 1970s – Mover

    There were none, moron; it’s a denialist lie. There was a small amount of discussion of the possibility. See

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/the-global-cooling-mole/langswitch_lang/in
  797. #803 Camboy
    November 1, 2008

    Well, this thread certainly is a goner (an insane week–no time for this blog). Just as well, since I am not interested in getting in any extended discussions on this blog. But I see from some of the commentary that I have received that I will have to clarify what I have said. It should be clear from posts #525 and #658, but apparently, for some people at least, it’s not. Many people have responded, and some of you may be making valid points, but I don’t have time to respond to you all, so I am only going to address SC. In particular, her assertion in comment #667 that “I’m not arguing with you. I’ve made my substantive arguments on this thread already”. Well, I’ve read all your comments up to this one SC, and I think the “substance” in your substantive comments is pretty thin. In any case, in no way do your previous comments amount to a refutation of what I am saying. Of course, maybe you’re not claiming that they do. Maybe you just don’t want to argue. When a person replies to a substantive and reasoned argument with name-calling, I don’t know what I can reasonably assume but that they don’t have the balls to take the callee on. And in this particular case SC, that would be the right way to be thinking, because if you do take me on you’ll be squashed like a cockroach. But as it is, you have a very convenient, face-saving out. Since this is such a long dead thread, you can just never respond, and say you never even heard that I commented again. And even if you did, why would you waste time writing a response no one is going to read? Fine with me. I’m doing this for posterity.

    The asshole ripping will commence below. First, though, I want to achieve that elusive “clarity”

    A few people, not just SC, have called me, and my comments #525 and #658 “misogynist”. Well, there is nothing misogynist about those comments, and I challenge anyone to demonstrate how from those sentences you can construe that I am by necessity making a misogynist statement. Hell, I challenge you to point out a single necessarily misogynist sentence. It’s not there, trust me. I just checked (And it is against the rules to point out the places I used the B-word in reference to Palin. The whole point of this disussion is that that is not a misogynist thing to do. Besides, I was only doing it to piss SC off). I am not a misogynist, and I am not any kind of bigot. Disagree? Look up the word bigot in the dictionary please. Shouldn’t be a problem for SC. (I grant you, I’m not the nicest chap you’ll ever run into, but that’s not at all the same thing)

    What I am is a free speech absolutist. I believe as strongly as I a believe the sky is blue, that there should never be the remotest constraint on speech. Anything, hate speech, fine, holocaust denial, go ahead. Not a holocaust denier myself, but like Voltaire, I’ll go to the grave to defend any holocaust denier’s right to say what he believes. This is a crime in Germany, and other places in Europe I believe. Maybe someone knows more than me, how serious is it? How long can they lock you up for simply for asserting you believe something? Absurd. Paradoxical that the Germans have failed to learn one of the most important lessons from the worst period in their history by legislating control over its free discussion. I don’t like libel or slander laws, although I admit we need them in some form. This is one of the few cases (the only case?) where the USA gets things righter than any other industrialized democracy. Based on supreme court rulings, as it stands now, the basic legal reality in the USA is that only in the case that speech could incite imminent violence can there be any legal constraint on it. And that is right. Quite frankly, even that little constraint I am not entirely comfortable with. I can reconcile myself with it by saying that you’re not really constraining speech anymore, the purpose of that much constraint is to control the violence. OK, I can say that and manage to live day by day, but I can never say it without that little voice in my head snipping “BULLSHIT!!!”. Many will disagree, and that’s fine, there is some room for disagreement here. I’m not having that discussion on this blog. All I’m going to say if you believe there should be some kind of legally enforced control of speech is that Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and North Korea today are some examples of societies with governmental control of speech. Think you’d be happier living in a society like one of these?

    And that is why I cannot read a comment like SC’s #40 and not cringe like I would if a severed human head fell into my cereal bowl. What the fuck, SC, who appointed you the language policewoman? Haven’t you read 1984? I can use the B-word, the C-word, the T-word, whatever, and if I want to make a derogatory statement about a woman, or anyone else with it, I have every right, and moreover it doesn’t mean anything but what I mean it to mean. If you think it means something else, why don’t you ask for clarity. Or complain, but if I make it clear what I am saying, you may think my language distasteful, but you’re just going to have to not like it and accept it. It’s your problem, not mine. Of course, I have a right to be a bigot (though not when I’m doing things like hiring people, grading math exams, etc), and I can use these words to insult someone at the same time make a slur against women generally if I choose to. But no one here is denying that, and SC has made it clear that she isn’t either. The problem is your insistence that the use of such words is intrinsically misogynist. Bullshit. And I should also make it clear that I am not accusing SC of promoting censorship. She has explicitly said in her comments that she is not. No problem.

    But what she is trying to do is entirely in the spirit of censorship, and since she is in no position to implement such a thing, what she is doing is the closest acheivable goal for her. She is trying to anathematize the use of certain language, certain words, to create an atmosphere where the consensus will be that using the B-word is tantamount to bigotry. I guess pursuing that kind of strategy has been working for the ADL in the real world, so why not give it a whirl in the blogosphere. She claims all she is trying to do is create an environment where certain people will not feel uncomfortable participating, but how uncomfortable do you think you are making it, SC, for someone who just uses colloquial langauge, like they grew up doing, with no ulterior motives at all, and finds himself or herself branded a bigot, when they are nothing of the kind, and meant nothing of the kind. How exactly does this net out to a positive development SC? You have made some people feel more comfortable at the expense of other people, including most likely some of the very people you were trying to make feel comfortable in the first place.

    Guess what SC. You will never create an environment in which no person ever feels the slightest discomfort. It is not achievable. And if you try to achieve it, and the attempt has been made in the past, you are simply going to create a situation where one group’s set of values are imposed on others who don’t share them. You are trying to impose your values that women and other minorities deserve to not feel uncomfortable on me, by limiting my right to express myelf openly, with whatever language I deem suitable, which is something I value more than your right not to be uncomfortable. I value it more than I value my own right not to feel uncomfortable also–I am supremely happy to live in society where I will be subject to slurs and bigotry against myself, if it means that I and everyone else can speak what they think openly (and these days SC, don’t think that WASP males, not to mention wall streeters, don’t have to put up with lots of bigotry and unjustified abuse–I don’t deny we have nothing to complain about in the end, and yes we still have the bulk of the power, no argument, but that’s beside the point). If you think you have a right to enforce what you think is right on others, there is no effective difference between you and the christian right. They believe as surely as you do that what they think is right, and that everyone should live by their rules. There is a motif that runs through this blog, in PZ’s posts and the commentary, that no one has the right to not be offended. You can believe what you want, but you can’t demand that others respect what you believe. The principle is usually applied here to the christian right, but it applies equally to everyone, including you. If you think you can or should villify others for using certain language that you find offensive, you’re just like the bible thumpers who complain about abuse from “militant atheists”.

    And anyways, even if a world where no one ever had to be offended was achievable, why would you want to live in it. I sure as hell don’t want to, and I don’t know anybody who would. We could probably make the world a less violent place by lobotomizing all children at birth, or in early childhood, but there’s a reason why we don’t. Lot’s of things in the world are detestable and repugnant to me, believe me, but there’s nothing I would do to change that. We are all as a species nothing more or less than what natural selection crafted us into, and there is no right or wrong about that, it just is what it is. There is no metaphysical hook you can support your particular moral code on, it just it what it is, by evolution, by your DNA, by the society you have grown up in. No one is any righter than anyone else. And I would rather live in a world with the fullest range of natural diversity, where I knew all humans could be who they are, whatever that is, and, for all my disgust at some things, I’ll happily pay the price of feeling it to observe the human race as it truly is in all its diversity (obviously we have to have laws, and I’m not suggesting we don’t have to put some constraints on behaviour. But speech? That’s a form of thought control, and I’ll have none of it). I’ll take that over the homogenized world that SC seems to want (only partially I know, but bad still).

    The above few paragraphs are more about “where I’m coming from”. They really do not substantively support my main point. And in the end, my main point (that is, the main point of comments #525 and #658), is really something so trivial, so timid, so weak, that it’s mind boggling that people have gotten their panties/boxer shorts in a bunch over anything I’ve said.

    All I am wanting to say is that you can use the words “bitch”, “cunt”, and “twat”, and that does not make you a misogynist or a bigot. And the use of such words is not an intrinsically misogynist act. And therefore, if you choose to use those words, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re a misogynist, and call the fuckers on it if they do. Can they be used to be a misogynist? Of course. Are they used by misogynists? Obviously. But I would suggest in the majority of cases, probably the vast majority, that is not how the words are being used. At their core, these are words for expressing contempt. Contempt in a very strong, perhaps the strongest possible, forms. They are barnyard epithets, and we do not say them in polite society or around children, but it is precisely because these words are “special”, that there are times when there is no substitute. Yes, the B-word (which is the main one I’m going to focus on as I’ll explain below) is expression of contempt towards women. When we call a man a bitch, and contrary to what SC suggests in #325, it is quite common, and makes perfect sense, we are not expressing contempt in the same way. It means something different. Basically, the B-word is to refer to a contemptible woman, and, when used for a woman, it is the strongest form of expressing your contempt. But that contempt is directed at the individual being reffered to. It is NOT (or there is no necessity that it be) an expression of contempt or hatred or anything of the kind toward women collectively–it is directed at an individual only. That is certainly the way I mean it when I use it, and it is the way people mean it where I come from. And when I hear it on TV, in movies, etc, that is usually the way it is meant. There is no sexist slur intended. Now, as an expression intended to denote a contemptible woman, and not a man, it certainly can imply that the individual is contemptible in a characteristically female way. So when I call a woman a bitch I may be in part communicating that she is contemptible in a particularly feminine way. But that is NOT BIGOTRY! Women and men are different, there is nothing to argue about there, and contemptible women are contemptible in certain ways that men are not, and vice versa. And there is nothing wrong with saying that that contemptible woman over there is contemptible in a particularly female way, and the B-word is a one way of doing that. I would say this applies quite well to Sarah Palin for one thing–she’s contemptible in ways that lots of men are as well, but the B-word doesn’t exclude that. There are also words for saying that a man is contemptible in a particularly masculine way (a lot more I think), and don’t waste my time telling me there’s not. Again, recognizing genuine differences between the sexes (or races, ethnicities, whatever), is not bigotry. It is bigotry when you think that BECAUSE this person is from some particular gender, race, whatever, that that person must have this, and that, and whatever stereotypes that exist about that group. At first order, the B-word is a way of expressing contempt specifically towards a woman, but it is A woman, and not women generally. It may have that connotation, but I have every right to use the word without that, and unless something from the context makes it pretty clear that I am expressing that connotation as well, you are quite unjustified in assuming that I am.

    Consider the link to the definition of “bitch” on Webster’s online that SC provides in post #401. There are 4 definitions there, and only the second one is relevant:

    2a: a lewd or immoral woman b:a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman–sometimes used as a generalized term of abuse

    I don’t know SC, you’re not planning on going to law school are you? Words of advice: do not become a lawyer. You will live your existence in poverty until you die–well, unless you manage to snag a rich guy. Why would you cite as evidence something that completely undermines your point? Definition a. clearly refers only to an individual. b. also refers only to an individual woman in it’s basic form, but then that is qualified with the proviso that it can be used as a slur. I am not denying that that possibility exists. Like I said, the B-word has that connotation. But how do you know that in my previous posts when I used the B-word to describe Sarah Palin that I wasn’t invoking definition a.? Or even definition b. and this just wasn’t the “sometimes” when it was being used a generalized term of abuse. You don’t know, and nothing about the way I used it or the context justifies assuming that. Why are you calling me a misogynist? And more importantly, whatever the original post that set you off was, how do you know that person was meaning it in this way? Actually, maybe that person was being a misogynist, but you have no right to conclude from that that all future users of the B-word are using it in that way. As the definition you linked to makes unequivocally clear, there are other possible meanings that have nothing to do with misogyny.

    So the B-word is not an inherently sexist word. That is a connotation it possesses only. That connotation may be invoked frequently when you hear it, but I am of the opinion that it is not. What I said in the previous sentence is not really a supportable statement–well actually it is, in various ways. Arguing anecdotally that “my friends and I never mean it that way” is no support for it, but there are more scientific ways we could do it. Those would be a lot of work though and I’m not going to do it. I don’t need to because the onus is on SC (and she makes equally unsupportable claims in her comments, which we’ll get to by the by) to prove that it isn’t true. Because she is the one who is trying to control what people can say, and how they can say it. If you call someone a bigot, and try to censor that alleged bigotry, the onus is on you to prove it.

    And if, in fact, the B-word is not, by necessity, a misogynistic word, then what is left of SC’s argument that people should be using “gender-neutral insults” as she says in comment #54? First of all, there is the fact that I may, as I alluded to above, want to say, not just that this person is contemptible, but that that she is contemptible in a characteristically female way. Well then, by definiton, a “gender-neutral” insult is not going to express what I want. I have every right to say that, as I explained above that does not constitute bigotry, and then what word am I going to use? If I want to express the contempt with strength, “bitch” is as good a choice as there is, I mean honestly, the best choice, and what is wrong with my using it? It’s the right word in the sense that it is the unique word in English that best expresses what I want to say. How