Summer reading

i-29134514d4c06749ee631d02714a1df5-coulter.jpg

Who would have thought these words would ever be typed by me? I'm looking forward to Ann Coulter's new book.

It's called Godless(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll). Apparently, Ann Coulter has written a book about me, although I suspect that she'll instead be pretending that people like me are representative of the Democratic Party as a whole. I wish.

I'm sure it will be insightful, nuanced, and meticulously researched. Maybe Al Franken and I should get together in a summer book club to discuss it.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Ann Coulter

P.S. Please don't buy it. I'm not planning to, myself (although if the publisher wants to send me a review copy, I'll gleefully read it and review it), but I just know my local library will be getting it.

P.P.S. I'm also amused at the image of Ann Coulter as an icon of Christian thought.

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I was shocked recently to find out that my local library, in the People's Republic of Berkeley, also buys books like this too. I have to assume it's in the interest of fairness, and so we can know what we're up against.

"Let's say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I'm not married."--Rivera Live, 6/7/00

Yeah, Ann's the perfect model of the godly woman.

Reading AC's book would have all the appeal of dissecting a formaldehyde-stinking fetal pig -- or in her case, a yellow snake.

We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.

Somehow I get the feeling that God wouldn't like that if he is the benevolent being a lot of people consider him to be... at least not the invading and the killing parts, and considering that He wouldn't like the first two, it is also likely he wouldn't like the last.

In conclusion: If God is good, he is a peacenick pinko-commie.

Of course, the assumption that He is good is wide open to debate, as is the assumption that He is.

Yep. Judge it before you read it. Typical closed-minded liberalism. It should be a hoot seeing your heads explode en masse when the book is released.

"Reading AC's book would have all the appeal of dissecting a formaldehyde-stinking fetal pig -- or in her case, a yellow snake."

So that means it would be fun to read? I think you're giving Ms. Coulter too much credit. Dissecting can be a LOT of fun. Reading radical right-wing rants. . . is less fun.

I said,

I'm sure it will be insightful, nuanced, and meticulously researched.

JMcH replies,

Yep. Judge it before you read it. Typical closed-minded liberalism.

Uh, OK. I was wrong.

I really like dissecting things, too.

Coulter's sex life and wardrobe are her own business, but from a religious standpoint, I find her view on the environment most offensive:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ann_Coulter

The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man's dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet--it's yours. That's our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars -- that's the Biblical view.

The biblical view ("fill the earth and subdue it") is clearly at odds with the 21st century environmentalist view, but apart from that trivial observation, Coulter has it completely wrong. Nowhere does the Bible sanction the kind of callow materialism that Coulter celebrates. This is not due to any particular respect for nature in the Bible, but because it puts human appetites ahead of God.

As someone who has in the past been religious, I really have difficulty imagining Coulter practicing the sort of humility that I would associate with religious reverence. I mean, maybe she really is religious, because religion is different things to different people. But I personally cannot picture it.

That was pretty funny, JMcH. Yeah, it's not like, based on Ann's past blatherings, we have any basis what to predict her latest rants will be like, do we?

And Ann is such an open-minded guy ...er, gal ...whatever!

It should be a hoot seeing your heads explode en masse when the book is released.

From laughter, they will.

Ah, the hellskank returns.

Ann Coulter is one of those useful for tests. If she says anything that I agree with, I immediately reconsider my position on that subject just to make sure I haven't had an attack of the stupids.

It should be a hoot seeing your heads explode en masse when the book is released.

Like when the heroes play bad music for the martians in Mars Attacks?

My head would explode if I found out that Ann C rejected Bush, became an atheist Democrat, took up tree hugging as a sideline and recanted all her previous blather. Somehow I don't expect this book will be much different from what she has already professed publicly, though I may subject myself to reading it just to be fair.

Yep. Judge it before you read it. Typical closed-minded liberalism.

Bah. We know her past views on things. We can read the cover, and it's obviously more of the same. You know what would be stupid? Acting like we have NO idea whats in the book -- if we said, "Gee, she's been a right-wing nutjob in the past, but we shouldn't judge. We really have no idea what this book is going to be like. For all we know, she's praising atheism, liberalism, and she's finally turned against the religious right. We have no idea until we read it." That would be stupid, and it's stupid to suggest that we should act that way.

You know, she's not going to stop misbehaving until you stop rewarding her bad behavior with this kind of attention.

This is a person who gets up every morning and says to herself, "What is the stupidest, most offensive thing I can say today?" Then, if there are no TV cameras handy, she grabs a pen.

If she had any real sense of patriotism, she'd be ashamed of the way she hijacks political discourse for her own selfish purposes. I doubt if, in the end, the woman believes in anything. If being a cross-eyed, screaming liberal would make her bank account fatter, tomorrow she'd wake up a cross-eyed, screaming liberal.

It should be a hoot seeing your heads explode en masse when the book is released.

My head would explode if I found out that Ann C rejected Bush, became an atheist Democrat, took up tree hugging as a sideline and recanted all her previous blather.

If she thought she could make more money at that, she probably would. You really don't think she believes what she says any longer than it takes to say it, do you? Not that I'm trying to excuse her -- on the contrary, her sociopathy only compounds her evil.

I wouln't read the book "to be fair." That would be like inviting creationists for some legitimate scientific debate. It just NEVER would happen because it's so ridiculous. .......um, oh, on second thought, this is Bush America.

But really, does anyone believe this Coulter guy? Does anybody even think he believes himself? Well, I guess he has a cult following and makes pretty good money with that whore act. .... oops, my bad again, the whore part is not an act.

Somebody needs to write a book Pedophiles: Why the Republican Party Wants Them Running the Department of Homeland Security. Would make a few wingnut heads explode, and have far more basis in reality than all of the "HellSkank"'s (thank you for this wonderful neologism, Jake!) books put together!

By Rheinhard (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

I thought this was a science blog.

By Real Skeptic (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Yep. Judge it before you read it. Typical closed-minded liberalism.

JMcH, referring to something as "typical" means you're generalizing about one member of a class based on past experience with other members of that class. Like when judging Coulter's new book on the basis of her previous 57. How do you feel about hypocrisy?

Well, it is a science blog but it's also a politics, atheism, and squid blog. Hang in there, as this entry too shall pass.

By David Wilford (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Judge it before you read it. Typical closed-minded liberalism.

If you'd like, I can send you my next crap so you can judge whether or not it's different than my last crap. C'mon, it's the South Park thing to do, don'cha know? Oh, so you say it's just crap and you don't want it? Well then, leave off with bitching about what other's think of Coulter's latest load of ideological waste then. The book's cover does a fine job of telegraphing the contents as far as I'm concerned.

By David Wilford (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Should we be worried? Its release date is 6/6/6.

Not all need fear the hellskank.
At a minimum, certain Republican ... donors ... shall be spared.

Is that "Godless" or "Bodless"?

Mann Coulter has the arms of a freshman center and the face of leukemic dachsund.

Oy.

By Great White Wonder (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Rheinhard,
The guy used to work for Time Magazine, so by your logic all Time Magazine writers are pedaphiles? (not something I believe) Yes, we agree that pedaphiles are evil. You are really stretching the guilt by association thing just a mite too far.

I don't see any value in reading Ms. Coulter's book. (even if you check it out from the library) You already have a fairly good idea what type of thing she is going to say and it would take at least a couple of hours to read it. (maybe not, but for sake of arguement lets assume it will) The probablility that whatever she writes is going to change your political view is approuching infintesimal. (that doesn't make one close minded) Instead you could spend those couple of hours doing something more important. I am pretty sure you could spend those couple of hours doing something that would benefit yourself or mankind more than reading her book.

The only benefit to reading her book might be that you could learn some additional colorful adjective phrases. The few times I have seen her on TV I did notice that she does come up with some unique phrases.

Apparently, Ann Coulter claims that college professors are against free speech since they say anything they want to to their classes with tenure. She claims to be an advocate of free speech because she wants to sensor professors.

"Like when the heroes play bad music for the martians in Mars Attacks"
Look, wheatdogg, I don't care if you like or dislike the hellskank, but when you trash Slim Whitman (the greatest singer of the 20th Century and savior of the world) you have gone too far. On behalf of Slim I demand an apology.

Ann Coulter,like Howard Stern, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson, is what I like to refer to as a "media maggot", someone who exploits a certain segment of the population with ideas, rantings and ravings which they have absolutely no belief in, and then laugh all the way to the bank.

Tom DeLay and Ann Coulter. One could not hope for better representatives of the Christian right.

I'm not much of a Howard Stern fan, but one of these things is not like the others.

Coulter (like an awful lot of wingnuts, apparently including JMcH) has only one (1) single basic political idea: She hates the Left.

She has various riffs on the same theme, but she doesn't have anything else to say.

That's all that'll be in her new book. Even if you hated the Left yourself, is it really worth $27 to get that reiterated?

By Molly, NYC (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Every time she gets mentioned, I think of this charming story

WARNING: EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE, TO EVERYBODY. REGARDLESS OF YOUR POLITICS, IDEOLOGY, GENDER, HISTORY OR ANY OTHER MEANINGFUL MEASURE OF CURRENT MENTAL STATE, READING THIS SITE WILL MAKE YOU ILL ON SOME LEVEL.

You have been warned. No pictures, but the density of naughty words renders this NSFW in most workplaces

http://tinyurl.com/bjtun

Apologies for resorting to a tinyurl. Short of a Hitler or Nazi comparison, this thread may now be exhausted of meaningful content.

By Execudork (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

My International Relations professor proposed an interesting theory with respect to Coulter: She doesn't buy into her own bullshit. Rather, she just tries to be as provocative as possible, as convincingly as possible. Thus, she makes a fortune and becomes famous. But, she really doesn't care about the issues of which she speaks; she just invents the most outlandish position possible and rakes in the dough.

Could it be?

Could she be that clever?

Might she actually be sane??

Molly (like an awful lot of moonbats) has only two (2) basic political ideas:

1) She hates the Right
2) God is Dead.

This entire blog has riffs on the same theme, yet doesn't have anything to say.

"The Hellskank?" Not bad...personally I think "The Elephant Shrew" has a nice ring to it.

Question: is there actually any objective information about Coulter's sex life, or are the various comments about it merely conjecture? If there is, I'd like a link...

"The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man's dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet--it's yours. That's our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars -- that's the Biblical view."

I love the fact that liberals don't get Ann's unique brand of wit, humor and insight. She says/writes stuff like this that is as much a jab at some conservatives as it is meant to make liberals crap their pants and the liberals, well, crap their pants.

Coulter (like an awful lot of wingnuts, apparently including JMcH) has only one (1) single basic political idea: She hates the Left.

No, she doesn't hate the left. Neither do I. We hate the modern left's ridiculous ideas. There's an immense difference between hating people (like, oh, much worshipped liberal deity Howard Dean does - "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.") and hating their ideas.

At least we can be glad that Coulter and her ilk don't influence policy on climate change or defense spending or teaching evolution or reproductive rights policy or separation of church and state or health care or sex education or stem cell research or AIDS research/prevention/mitigation or pork barrel politics or energy policy or anything else important. At least we can be sure that the vast educated populace of the US could never be swayed by such blatant, obvious malarky. At least we can be confident that US citizens couldn't possibly have their attitudes effected by this stuff. At least Americans don't take it as real. Yeah, at least we know that.

Face it people: the left adores Ann Coulter for the same reason that the right adores Michael Moore. It's a lot more fun to argue with the most outrageous caricature you can find to rail against, than to seek out the best advocates among your opponents and have a reasoned debate.

-jcr

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

I love the fact that liberals don't get Ann's unique brand of wit, humor and insight.

And I love the fact that conservatives don't catch her jabs at them, but hang on every word as if it were gospel.

H.L. Mencken, Mike Royko, and Mark Twain had wit, humor and insight. Coulter pales in comparison.

I love the fact that liberals don't get Ann's unique brand of wit, humor and insight.

Do you mean the lies, or the parts where she demonstrates her lack of familiarity with truth.

Coulter:
"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."

Mike Hansen:
"Somehow I get the feeling that God wouldn't like that if he is the benevolent being a lot of people consider him to be..."

True enough, but there sure are some things that God gets people to do in the Old Testament that could give one the impression that Coulter's remarks are not so far off. Something about driving people out of the promised land??

I want to slap any guy, especially any liberal one, that says at the very least, she's hot. I've never found her attractive, and the attitude that goes with that needs no explanation.

She's an exotic dancing pole with several screws loose.

By BlueIndependent (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Tsk tsk, JMcH. You should take Ann's own word for it. "The defining element of 'compassionate conservatism,' it seems to me, was captured in this sentence from Bush's convention speech: '(T)he alternative to bureaucracy is not indifference.' I, for one, bolted past indifference straight into loathing long ago."

This same editorial of hers hilariously ends with the comment: "Out of the Republican Party's seemingly inexhaustible supply of Bushes and Doles, we may finally have located one [W}, who talks about compassion without meaning another horrific federal bureaucracy. He better mean it." After such embarrassments as No Child Left Behind, the FEMA/Katrina debacle, rampant cronyism, the Clusterfuck That Is Iraq and, well, pretty much the failure of everything else Bush has done in his presidency, I guess Ann must be feelign a little let down now. And yet the only people she keeps attacking in her books are the left, and their supposedly ridiculous ideas. Hmm. Well, we've all seen the wonderful results of BushCo's brilliant ideas over the last four years, haven't we?

But hey, keep towing that party line, JMcH. It's all that's holding the right up at this point.

John C Randolph: Face it people: the left adores Ann Coulter for the same reason that the right adores Michael Moore. It's a lot more fun to argue with the most outrageous caricature you can find to rail against, than to seek out the best advocates among your opponents and have a reasoned debate.

While Mike has his own way of playing fast and loose with facts, unlike Ann he has never, to my knowledge, advocated the assassination of a sitting president as Ann did re: Clinton, or "joked" about poisoning Supreme Court justices or blowing up the New York Times offices. To claim Ann and Mike are just opposite sides of the same level of wingnuttery is the kind of inaccurate statement that...well, either of them would be likely to make.

I love the fact that liberals don't get Ann's unique brand of wit

Hey, you're right! I'm a liberal and I don't get Coulter's wit! In fact, I don't detect even a slight trace of it. All I ever catch is the sarcastic name-calling that seldom reaches the level of what my classmates and I used to hurl at each other during arguments on the playground. In first grade.

Yep, bitch is too subtle for me. Boy howdy.

Posted by: JMcH

Yep. Judge it before you read it. Typical closed-minded liberalism. It should be a hoot seeing your heads explode en masse when the book is released.

One of the more startling differences between wingnuts and conservativs is that conservatives learn and adapt and try to use their experience to forecast possible future events. In that, conservatives and liberals are remarkably similar. They're also remarkably similar in their belief in the right of privacy. In fair play. In many areas. In fact, we're really, by-and-large, on the same team but have different beliefs in how far and/or how fast government should handle/intervene in any particular issue.

Facist, hyper-religiousity wing-nuts, such as yourself don't. And don't even act like you're an affronted conservative. You're not even close to being a conservative. You're nothing more than a facist/religious nut with a Nazi/Taliban world view. You idiots go around starting wars, engineer massive social change programs trying to take us back to the bad old days, and build government to some huge monstrosity while defict spending like a drunken sailor in a whore-house after six months of sea duty.

Too bad you can't edit your posts. Messed up the block quote position. The first paragraph in my previous post isn't mine. It's the facists.

Ann Coulter is one of those useful for tests. If she says anything that I agree with, I immediately reconsider my position on that subject just to make sure I haven't had an attack of the stupids.

:lol: I do the same thing.

No, she doesn't hate the left. Neither do I. We hate the modern left's ridiculous ideas. There's an immense difference between hating people (like, oh, much worshipped liberal deity Howard Dean does - "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.") and hating their ideas.

Yes -- and when Ann Coulter jokes that liberal judges and Arabs should be murdered, she says that with love.

Unlike liberals. They're just haters.

By george cauldron (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

To claim Ann and Mike are just opposite sides of the same level of wingnuttery is the kind of inaccurate statemen

I don't know about comparing "levels", but Moore is a latter-day Leni Riefenstahl. He's far more skilled at what he does than Coulter, and much more cynical as well. Coulter is more like Al Sharpton; they each preach to their own choir and do what they can to provoke the other side.

-jrc

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Compass and JMcH--Thanks for proving my point.

By Molly, NYC (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Molly (like an awful lot of moonbats) has only two (2) basic political ideas:

1) She hates the Right
2) God is Dead.

This entire blog has riffs on the same theme, yet doesn't have anything to say.

Don't forget, we're also trying to destroy the American family, we objectively hate America, and we want the Islamofascist terrorists to win.

Oh yes, and we're probably French.

By george cauldron (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Well George, now that you mention it, save for wanting the Islamofascists to win, since they will play utter hell with Women's Lib, and perhaps the French bit, I think you're onto something there. . .

No Molly. All I did was mirror your own intolerant nonsense back at you.

And calling Moore a modern-day Leni Riefenstahl definitely wins the Unintentionally Ironic Comment Award for the week.

Well George, now that you mention it, save for wanting the Islamofascists to win, since they will play utter hell with Women's Lib,

"Women's Lib"? Shit, how old are you?

I also heard we want school children to take heroin, and we're all satanists. Do try to keep up.

By george cauldron (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Don't forget, we're also trying to destroy the American family, we objectively hate America, and we want the Islamofascist terrorists to win.

Oh yes, and we're probably French."

HAHAHAaa classic post of the day, that's going in the archives.

By Geral Corasjo (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

I think Moses has gone off the deep end. Rant much?

Really. Now, if only he'd made some jokes about people he didn't like getting killed, then we'd know he was reasonable.

By george cauldron (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

If Ann Coulter hates "the modern left's ridiculous ideas," how come her attacks on them are mostly limited to egregious straw-man fallacies and vehement but unevidenced assertions? In other words, if she hates "the modern left's ridiculous ideas" why does she spend so little time attacking ideas that are in any way typical of those advocated by the modern left?

Rheinhard,
The guy used to work for Time Magazine, so by your logic all Time Magazine writers are pedaphiles? (not something I believe) Yes, we agree that pedaphiles are evil. You are really stretching the guilt by association thing just a mite too far.

Jim,
Leaving aside for a moment the fact that I was trying to parody Coulter, excuse me, the HellSkank's outrageous straw man exaggerations, you are obviously overlooking the fact that NO LESS THAN FOUR Dept. of Homeland Security employees have been recently indicted or investigated for some form of pedophilia, pederasty, or child porn trafficking. I think that is more than enough to establish a pattern, well beyond the lax "standards" that the Hellskank would use to indict a Democratic administration if they had appointed these assholes.

By Rheinhard (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

As a gag gift, a co-worker gave me a copy of the "Treason" book for Christmas a couple years ago. It was doubly funny, since she's a bit more into the whole "street fightin' man" aspect of liberal activisim, and I'm more into the whole "reasoned, rational debate followed by a few bong rips" thing. Anyhow, I'd read Coulter's first book and certainly had no intention in making the same mistake twice (even if it was in a different place), but I did flip through the "Treason" book. It's pretty vile yet at the same time tedious, but what really struck me is how much this woman, whom I've never met, hates my guts and wants me to die. She's not interested in hearing what I have to say and would be quite pleased if I were permanently shut up. And she's never even met me, she just loathes me for thinking maybe society can be run a different way than she does.

On the other hand, if she's doing what other's suggest and it's all a big money-making gag and she doesn't believe a word she says or writes, it's even more distasteful. Trafficking in hate for the big bucks. Thing is, though, I've got more respect for her if she hated my guts because I'm pro-choice, pro-science, pro-open government, pro-sensible regulation of industry, pro-gay, pro-diversity and not scared shitless of brown people. She's looney, but I can deal with looney.

However, if it's all just a scam, if she's just playing the rubes for the bucks, man...that's loathesome. That's George Wallace loathesome. That's "Oh, I don't hate gays, I just support George Bush's plan to change the Constitution to deny basic rights to a certain group of Americans because it'll bring in the fundie moron vote" loathesome. It's manipulating the darker impulses of folks - fear, greed, hatred, cruelty - just for a nicer apartment.

On the upside, flipping through that book broke me of paying too much attention to Coulter or Limbaugh or Savage or Reagan or any of the rest of that bunch. If they're for real, they're not gonna listen to me anyway, no matter how polite or rational I may be. They can chalk it all down to "Irrational Bush Worship" or "being objectively pro-terrorist" or "hating God/America/the family/traditional values" or some other such stupidity. So why bother with them if they're not even interested in other views? And if it's all a big con game, well...they really ain't worth the time nor the energy.

Only way I keep up with them is via sites like Sadly, No or World o'Crap making fun of them. Whether she's serious or not, mockery is about the only response Coulter's proven herself worthy of. Though, I must admit, I am curious how she's gonna write basically the same book for, what, they fifth time? She's like the AC\DC of wingnuttery, except for being, of course, light years away from anything close to "cool" or "kick-ass".

Just out of curiosity, when we talk about "pedophilia" are we referring to the meaning of the term as it's recognized by the mental health establishment or the colloquial misconstruction which renders it as a synonym for "child molestation?" That makes a substantial difference in any debate or discussion where the term comes up.

*sits back and chuckles preemptively, secure in the knowledge that some flaming imbecile will provide me with a week's worth of entertainment by drilling a hole in his or her skull, pouring a cup or two of sodium hydroxide solution in, waiting an hour before reading my post, and consequently concluding that I'm endorsing or defending child sexual abuse*

jrc: I don't know about comparing "levels", but Moore is a latter-day Leni Riefenstahl.

Dude! Have you seen Triumph of the Will? Moore makes polemics, not state-sponsored propaganda. The Riefenstahl comparison would be more apropos of someone like Murdoch. (And Moore, unlike Riefenstahl, hasn't gone on to deny making any of the movies he's actually made, as Riefenstahl did late in life with Triumph.)

Apropos of nothing, what the shit is Ann wearing on the cover of that book? It looks like a Pilates video, not a vacuous rightist screed. Is this Lite Porn for Easily-Startled Conservatives? If her publishers were trying to sell her appearance, I think they failed: it looks like Jack the Pumpkin King lost a fight to a garbage bag.

Somehow I find the scam idea easier to swallow then her actually believing what she says. Especially that Biblical view paragraph, no one would say that seriously, right (the word "rape" is a dead giveaway right?)? Although even if I was given context, I'd have a hard time figuring out exactly what she'd be lampooning by making a joke paragraph like that.

I dunno, all I need to know is that she equates "Godless" with "Treason" and "Slander". I don't know if I can bother to fight the uphill battle of trying to change that entrenched view anymore. Instead, I've been thinking of making a bumper sticker with the words "BIG SCARY ATHEIST" on it.

Heliologue wrote:

Apropos of nothing, what the shit is Ann wearing on the cover of that book? It looks like a Pilates video, not a vacuous rightist screed. Is this Lite Porn for Easily-Startled Conservatives? If her publishers were trying to sell her appearance, I think they failed: it looks like Jack the Pumpkin King lost a fight to a garbage bag.

Behold the Galadriel of the Right.
What a repulsive fraud.

By Dark Matter (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

This is my first post here. And I had hoped to jump in with something a little different, as I just discovered this wonderful blog. I couldn't let this go, though.

"I don't know about comparing "levels", but Moore is a latter-day Leni Riefenstahl. He's far more skilled at what he does than Coulter, and much more cynical as well."

This is as ignorant of politics as it is of film style. "Star Wars" is much more like Riefenstahl than anything Moore has ever done. This can be seen in comparing shot choice, editing, pacing and even "mise en scene". To put it simply, Moore is a polemicist, Reifenstahl was a propagandist. The distinction is important. Reifenstahl attempted to build, using specific film techniques, (and was, to a certain extent, successful) myth. Moore attempts, using drastically different techniques, something quite different.

I realize this is a bit off-topic. I apologize. But I really can't let this go.

phat

I see, as I wrote my above post, someone else agrees.

phat

"Ann Coulter is one of those useful for tests. If she says anything that I agree with, I immediately reconsider my position on that subject just to make sure I haven't had an attack of the stupids."
Ann Coulter is to you what Steven Milloy is to me. When he agrees with me on any point my head goes into a spin and I think, whoa! Let me check my facts!

If I wasn't in the middle of writing something for the Tangled Bank, I'd photoshop everyone a nice image of the front of Coulter's book so it reads:
The
Church
of
Chauvinism
made me
ANOREXIC
Would also work with "FOODLESS"

"Christian thought" is an oxymoron.

The right-wing hate-ladies are creepy. I tend to think it is mostly an act too, and the comparison to Howard Stern is apt. Michael Savage seems similar.

It also seems like some of the "conservatives" in the political sphere, such as DeLay, are cynically exploiting the honestly religious conservative. I really don't understand this desire to rally around someone on your "team" when they are reprehensible.

I can't help but think of the tears and hand-wringing when Milosevic died.

"It should be a hoot seeing your heads explode en masse when the book is released.

From laughter, they will."

NO, no, NO!

That's the problem.
Far too many people believe this insanity.
She's been read over here (UK) as well - dangerously insane - she and Ahmenidjad make a really good pair ....

By G. Tingey (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

"2) God is Dead.

This entire blog has riffs on the same theme, yet doesn't have anything to say."

Erm ...

ASSUMPTION - that "God" existed in the first place, or is detectable.

Please detect any god thing, then you are allowed to re-join the argument.
If you are basing your statement on BELIEF - ie evidence without proof, then please shut up.

By G. Tingey (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

Martin,

I'm a Jew. Of COURSE I've seen Triumph of the Will.

-jcr

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

"The right-wing hate-ladies are creepy. "

Almost as creepy as Andrea Dworkin or Catherine MacKinnon.

-jcr

By John C. Randolph (not verified) on 10 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Almost as creepy as Andrea Dworkin or Catherine MacKinnon."

And your point is..? Are you of the odd belief that everyone who isn't a religious right wingnut must therefore be a radical feminist? Or that being just almost as creepy as Dworkin somehow is a defense of Coulter? Or are you just throwing a complete non-sequitor into the discussion, because...?

I can't speak for everyone here, but being a civil libertarian, the thing that irks me about Dworkin, MacKinnon, and Coulter is the glee with which all three would curtail civil liberty.

I just cannot distinguish her from Laura Ingraham. Is there any difference? Perhaps Laura is a bit less creepy.

By Pattanowski (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

I just cannot distinguish her from Laura Ingraham.

OT: Female right-wing spokeswomen seem to put a lot of effort into conforming to a very narrow standard of beauty. If you watch one of those gasbag TV shows, you can always pick them out, even if you have the sound turned off. They tend to have very careful coiffures (disproportionately blond, often via chemistry) and industrial-grade make-up jobs, and wear skirted ensembles that, while tasteful enough, appear sexless and slightly uncomfortable.

NB: I don't mean this as a knock, just an observation. If the worst these women ever did was try to look a certain way, they'd be saints. But it does make them hard to distinguish without nametags.

(By contrast: Janeane Garofalo, for example, usually wears her hair down, glasses, pants, and maybe some lipstick. Possibly that look takes some work too. But it's a different look.)

By Molly, NYC (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

One thing I would do if money were no object would be to hire some really good PIs and find out if people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and others who mouth off about their religion 1) belong to a congregation somewhere 2) actually attend church or synagogue from time to time and 3) tithe and/or donate any significant amount of money to churches or other religious organizations. While I'm sure some of them do, I'll bet that quite a few simply do not.

Best, Marc

Please detect any god thing, then you are allowed to re-join the argument.
If you are basing your statement on BELIEF - ie evidence without proof, then please shut up.

Once again, the tremendous poverty of the atheist mind comes into the fore.

Tell me, Mr. Tingey, have you ever felt "love"? Anger? Hatred? Even if you have, by your rules, they may not ever be brought into the conversation, as they cannot be measured by YOUR god, empiricism. All we may go by is your report that you have these "feelings". And we all known that self-report is little better than "belief."

Compass writes: "Tell me, Mr. Tingey, have you ever felt 'love'? Anger? Hatred? Even if you have, by your rules, they may not ever be brought into the conversation, as they cannot be measured by YOUR god, empiricism."

Nonsense. Emotions are experience every bit as authentic as visual perception. That includes the emotions that religious belief brings, such as feelings of awe or humbleness or transcendence. The notion that scientists think that these aren't real or can't be discussed is a strawman, a canard.

Of course, one cannot conclude from a feeling of anger that there therefore is an intelligence that caused the slight. Many people are angered by events that are entirely natural. Nor can one conclude from emotions inspired by religion that therefore the objects of religion exist. That is an error that comes from misunderstanding how emotions work.

Tell me, Mr. Tingey, have you ever felt "love"? Anger? Hatred? Even if you have, by your rules, they may not ever be brought into the conversation, as they cannot be measured by YOUR god, empiricism.

Eh, nonsense. You can study emotions empirically by polling people; today you can even use imaging to study the related brain activity. It's inexact, but there's certainly enough empirical basis to assume that when I talk about grief or joy, say, I'm talking about the same things that others are, and that we are all talking about an observable phenomenon. The external signs and behavior are the same. We don't understand it fully, but there's a set of unambiguous observations as well as a wealth of hypotheses about how our survival as a social animal depends in certain ways on emotional responses.

None of this minimizes the direct value of emotions. We're still going to feel even if we're convinced rationally that the basis of feeling is in the physical functioning of the brain.

This is also probably true about certain subjective religious experiences such as the state of consciousness during meditation (which I believe has been studied). But what is clearly lacking are any observables associated with the actual existence of God as opposed to our perception of it.

In short, you'd have to be a fool to imagine that your emotions don't exist, but you'd also have to be a fool to imagine that your subjection impressions are an accurate reflection of reality.

In one breath the egomaniac talks about "tremendous poverty of the [opponent's] mind", in the next they spout 18th century epistemology sprinkled with scare quotes and we-all-know's as the last word on the subject.
You're wasting your time, Russell.

Arrg, Coulter. I just had another manuscript rejected [cue the violin strings], and someone asks me, "What do you think about what Her Futility just wrote?" The only thing I have to say about what she writes, as opposed to the fact that at least she is getting paid to write and I'm not [cue little green bacterial flagella] is the same gripe that I have about Bill O'Reilly et al--their irritating cornballism, in which they adopt "blue collar, workin'-joe, stickin'-it-to-the-Man" pose. Spare me. That tired act by these little Ivy League, Prada-parading, cloistered-community, soccer-game-and-snockered-at-Spago's twits are so damned transparent, yet inexplicably not to their fans who grew up just like me (blue collar, workin'-joe for the Man). I don't even care what Coulter says (although I must admit to a twinge of glee at her latest choice of title), because she ducks her own words so much that she is paid to say, essentially, nothing, and is famous for being famous. Neither of which I, by the way, wish to achieve, even if I am in hawk for my new laptop.

Is it just me, or am I the only one who involuntarily shudders in complete horror at the very thought of Ann Coulter preaching to anyone in any way about religion? The idea that such an irredeemably vile, worthless person should be telling us anything about 'spirituality' or 'the meaning of life' is a travesty, and that it's a frightening sign of the impoverishment of sections of American society that anyone is taking her seriously. Tell you what, Ann, tell me what your religious/spiritual/moral beliefs really are (if you actually have any), and I will try very hard to do the opposite of that from now on.

By george cauldron (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

"Is it just me, or am I the only one who involuntarily shudders in complete horror at the very thought of Ann Coulter preaching to anyone in any way about religion?"

Speaking as someone who is not religious, I have no reason to view Coulter's religion as any better or worse than anyone else's, from Al Sharpton's to Jerry Falwell's. Of course, if George Cauldron is a Christian, whose views of Christianity differ from Coulter's, then he might be able to engage her in some kind of religious dialogue in which they exchange and test views, against whatever sources they mutually have for doing so. From a secular viewpoint, such discussions seem as silly and baseless as any other religious argument.

I find it remarkable that people don't recognize her schtick as performance art. People, 'Ann Coulter' is a public persona that exists for the sole purpose of generating outrageous commentary. READ what she writes - she's a self-aware caricature, and most of the time she's openly mocking the right. Every time a Bubba 'amens' one of her misanthropic rants, she wins points in my book. Personally I find her hilarious.

From a secular viewpoint, such discussions seem as silly and baseless as any other religious argument.

I see what you're saying, but that's not really my point. My point is that if a person's personal conduct is any guide toward whether they have any right to tell others about the meaning of life, how they should live their lives, or what religion they should follow, Coulter seems like a breathtakingly bad example of a person to be preaching anything to anyone. And yet, there she is anyway, sharing her 'religious beliefs' with us.

Of course, this isn't even what she's attempting -- as far as she's concerned, politics and religion have now become one and the same thing. When she shills for her childish form of rightwing American Christianity, it's precisely the same activity as when she reviles liberals or Democrats, or when she attacks evironmentalism, or when she insults Arabs. It's all one and the same thing. Her followers eat this up since it reinforces what they believe already. And when they get their rocks off from this, they buy her books, which is the whole point anyway. I can't imagine anyone has ever been converted to Christianity by AC's childish rantings.

By george cauldron (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

"My point is that if a person's personal conduct is any guide toward whether they have any right to tell others about the meaning of life.."

That strikes me as a perfectly sensible -- but secular -- assumption. If you read much at all about prophets, popes, priests, and mullahs, you'll quickly be dissuaded of the notion that secular norms have anything at all to do with religious claims. If anything, most religions incorporate some notion that religious authority transcends secular norms. Yahweh orders both Moses and Joshua to commit genocide. Elijah calls bears down on children who tease him. Mohammed marries a harem of women. Let's not get into L Ron Hubbard. It's all OK, in their lights, because they are following a higher power.

I'm with you, mafisto, about her self-serving shtick ("I market myself in order to market myself, and thus I am marketable for having marketed myself"--talk about a mean meme machine!), but not with you in finding her hilarious. I find her to be tedious. However, I don't think she's sticking it to the right with the "convert them all to Christianity" comment; she just doesn't want to have her book covers scribbled over with a sharpie by the Islamist bubbas who love to repeat the "Godless West" charge.

In short, you'd have to be a fool to imagine that your emotions don't exist Exactly. And as I said, in the arid atheistic worldview, where empiricism is all, emotions do not exist. There are -seemingly- symptoms of them, but you cannot prove their existence.

You're wasting your time, Russell. No. The one who appears to be wasting his time is ME, in that I spend time in this echo chamber with people who insist on jamming their fingers into their ears and saying "nanananananananana" to any opposing viewpoint.

Let's see. I'm an atheist. I say emotions exist. I have emotions myself, and I recognize them in others. I can measure them, I can record them, I can detect their effects.

Precisely who is jamming their fingers into their ears and saying "nanananananananana" here?

You might want to grow up a little bit. Your ignorant prejudices about what atheists think ought to be more than a little embarrassing to you.

Compass belabors, "In the arid atheistic worldview, where empiricism is all, emotions do not exist."

You keep saying that, but it's not so, and there's no reason for it to be so. To point out the obvious, again, emotions are experienced, just like vision and hearing and touch. Would you say an empiricist denies that we see? If not, then why do you say an empiricist denies that we hate or love or puzzle?

I don't know that Coulter's worth spending much time and outrage on. Other folks have described why: She's only interested in making an easy buck. Nothing she says will ever change anyone's mind in any direction (not that she's trying to do that). She's the Joan Rivers of American politics: She's stumbled on a schtick that the rubes keep paying to see.

I skim-read a chapter of one of her screeds in a bookstore, and the thing that really leapt out at me is how much of it was pure boilerplate. Yeah, she's caustic and outlandish, but the thing I read reminded me of term papers I'd written in all-nighters, right before the due date. I wonder if, when she sends off manuscripts to her publisher, she's surprised that they actually accept and print them?

Hamburgers do not exist. Only the symptoms of hamburgers exist in my arid empiricist worldview. Pass me some symptoms of ketchup, please.

As I recall, it has been extremely religious people (including some relatives of mine) who informed me that emotions, while they existed, were not "real," as in, we shouldn't trust them or pay attention to them--we had to struggle against our feelings and desires, or else, everything would be chaos! There would be anarchy! etc. Which seemed to me to be an emotional argument in itself.

Re: Atheistic/radical matelialist intellectual aridity:

To grossly oversimplify Aristotle:

The first act of the mind is the act of simple apprehension of an idea; the second act is the act of intellectual judgment; and the third act is the act of reasoning which presupposes the priority of the first two acts.

Empiricism relies entirely upon the third act of the mind alone. Empiricism is used as the excuse that God cannot exist. "If I can't detect it, it must not be there."

Corollary: If a liberal bays at the moon in the forest but no one else hears him, does it exist? According to empiricists, the liberal does not exist in this case.

You're barking up the wrong tree. If you wish to logically disprove the existence of God, try arguing from the existence of evil.

Relying upon empirical data alone only exposes intellectual (and practical experiential) aridity.

Compass both grossly oversimplifies Aristotle, and grossly misapprehends even 19th century positivism, and grossly distorts what anyone here has said. There is no more need for an atheist to disprove Yahweh than there is for one to disprove werewolves or fairies. It is enough to understand that the believers speak nonsense and conjure evidence to bask in their own fantasy.

"If I can't detect it, it must not be there."
No. If I can't detect it, I should not therefore assume that it is there (and organize whole civilizations around its presumptive existence). If it is really there, eventually I shall detect it. If not, not. In other words, I'm not holding my breath for unicorns.

But speaking only for me, my whole argument against the existence of God is that the concept posits a destructive relationship: that of king-servant, prince-slave (even though he's a "nice" prince who sacrifices himself for our sins; why not just forgive us?), bridegroom-bride (based on a time when women were chattel). Obedience, I find, is not the highest human endeavor, and I cannot swear allegiance to even a benevolent dictator. And, as I said in an earlier post, God doesn't worship a God, so why should I?

"people who insist on jamming their fingers into their ears and saying "nanananananananana" to any opposing viewpoint"

Classic projection. If I were a shrink instead of a physical chemist, I'd have a field day w/these types.

By Madam Pomfrey (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

as I said in an earlier post, God doesn't worship a God, so why should I? Leads to a circular argument. "Man needs no leaders, only followers." Doesn't work on earth. Why should it suddenly work anywhere else?

the existence of God is that the concept posits a destructive relationship: that of king-servant, prince-slave It need not. It only does in how you choose to read history. . .in the darkest light possible.

Classic projection. If I were a shrink instead of a physical chemist, I'd have a field day w/these types.

Lucky for all of us you are a physical chemist. Any pshrink worth his salt would know you can't make such a diagnosis outside of an actual therapeutic setting. You're making a wild-ass guess. And are incorrect, to boot.

There is no more need for an atheist to disprove Yahweh than there is for one to disprove werewolves or fairies Show me thousands of cultures that believe in werewolves and fairies. They do not exist in the thousands.

Yet I can show you thousands of cultures that do/have believe/d in a higher power. This is by no means the most compelling argument (as in the end relies upon the vox populi, vox humbug argument), but it best answers your very poor analogy.

"as I said in an earlier post, God doesn't worship a God, so why should I? Leads to a circular argument." No, it leads to a joke, Compass! I'm making a joke! Americans, by and large, don't trust atheists--so why should they trust God? I mean, hahaha. Laugh. I'm about to go back to work--workin' late for the Man tonight--talk about going in circles--so humor is my last refuge.

"Doesn't work on earth. Why should it suddenly work anywhere else?" Anywhere else? Where--New Jersey?

"Show me thousands of cultures that believe in werewolves and fairies. They do not exist in the thousands." But how do you know that they don't exist? Can you disprove their existence? Isn't that somewhat like your argument for us being unable to disprove God? ;-)

What the hell. Gotta go, but fun spinning in circles with you, compass.

an interesting theory with respect to Coulter: She doesn't buy into her own bullshit. Rather, she just tries to be as provocative as possible, as convincingly as possible.

The "Ann Coulter is a troll" theory has much to recommend it.

Why is so little attention being paid to the biological significance of this specimen? ;/

The "higher power" that the vast majority of recorded cultures have believed in--most of these were tribal--was certainly nothing like Yahweh.

Shamanism would probably be a fair description of the belief system of most human cultures over time. Shamanism was widely distributed across the Americas, Asia, Africa, the South Pacific, and Australia. It typically involves a generalized belief in the ghost world (populated by dead family members, sort of an extension of human lineages into the realm beyond life) and the ability of living humans to affect and be affected by these no-longer or not-yet living humans.

More specifically, it was believed that the shaman--a human "quasi-medical" or "psycho-dramatic" specialist--was able to intercede on behalf of other humans in his or her own group with these ghosts and with other unpredictable natural powers. The latter were often conceived of as all-too-human demiurges (in fact, underneath their animal "skins" or "clothing," they essentially WERE human, and rather petty, greedy, jealous, and conniving humans at that) who were in control of the supply of key food species or of other animals who displayed human-like traits of sociality, communicativeness, den or nesting behavior, parenting behavior, and the like--ravens, killer whales, wolves, bears, etc. These animal powers were often thought--when in their secret homelands--to doff their animal-skin garments and hang out in villages structured very like the human societies who thunk them up, with their very own chiefs, shamans, marriages, and so forth. Treat them right and with respect, and they would treat the human community the same way.

The step from this pre-scientific way of perceiving structure and relationships in the natural and cultural worlds, to a pantheon of representative nature-powers, to a consolidated power stucture WITHIN this pantheon--mimicking the increasingly-concentrated and centralized politics of the human world, to a god-queen or god-king at the head of the supernatural mirror-society, to a monotheistic and all powerful emperor-god, is familiar to most people who have studied the matter at all.

The claim that most of the thousands of human cultures around the world have believed in a trnas-human Yahweh-like "imperial" deity is simply naive and manifestly untrue.

Though the Old Testament Yahweh surely shows considerable evidence of "His" jealous, conniving, vengeful precursors...!

By Steviepinhead (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

For "trnas-human" in my post above, please read "trans-human."

What can I say: my editor is a pinhead.

By Steviepinhead (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

Just digging on Compass's bargain-basement aping of 18th-century theology here. It's fascinating that I can't imagine that any atheist who would ever be qualified to describe everything that any religious person thinks, and yet some days it seems there's not a fundie in America who hesitates to confidently hold forth on every aspect of the inner life of every last atheist in the world. And they always say the same tedious shit. Must be in some booklet they give Baptist pastors.

By george cauldron (not verified) on 11 Apr 2006 #permalink

Yep. Judge it before you read it. Typical closed-minded liberalism. It should be a hoot seeing your heads explode en masse when the book is released.

ROTFLMAO!

Really, it's not such a stretch to predict that, based on Coulter's other books, this one is likely to be a shoddily researched polemic. I'd love to be pleasantly surprised, but I'm not optimistic.

Coulter is an embarrassment to rational conservatives everywhere.

compass: If you really want to understand the empiricist position on undetectable objects, I suggest Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, specifically the chapter titled "The Dragon in My Garage". (Actually, you could probably benefit from the entire book, but not all of it is relevant to this specific question.)

If after reading that, you don't believe in the dragon in Carl's garage, why do you believe in God?

On the other hand, if you just want to trade rhetorical barbs and convince yourself you're winning, carry on. But don't expect us to start falling down worshiping your garage dragon.

Ann Coulter; A woman with nothing to say and how she learned how to say it.

>I doubt if, in the end, the woman believes in anything.

It's funny that you mention that. I was recently reading an old interview with Bill Maher, who--though he has a lot of odd ideas, particularly about medicine--is generally someone I respect. The interviewer brought up his odd friendship with Ann Coulter...odd, because they seem to have absolutely nothing in common. His response? He said they were friendly because she believes everything she says, and that's rare for political people.

Odd, as I got the complete opposite impression, as do many, apparently. Just goes to show ya.

If you really want to understand the empiricist position on undetectable objects, I suggest Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World, specifically the chapter titled "The Dragon in My Garage". I shall consult the Doctor.

Just digging on Compass's bargain-basement aping of 18th-century theology here. A typical straw-man argument, attack the messenger so that the message appears invalid. Yet, nothing has been provided to suggest that the "18th century theology" is invalid.

It's a helluva lot older than that. And it ain't theology. It's philosophy.

Now that we've called things by their proper names. . .perhaps you might want to try on exactly how it is wrong, rather than setting up strawmen and knocking them down?

"Openly mocking the right"

Nah, I don't believe it. You have her right-wing fans that respond to her stuff with hearty amens, and you have her left-wing detractors who decry her, and you have, out of this thread, two people who claim to be in on the joke. If Ann really styled herself as a comedian, then I would tell her that if your jokes aren't understood as jokes by 95% of your audience, then you have failed as a jokemaker. But I think she'd be too happy with the money she makes to listen to me.

By the way, compass, what you're trying to accuse George of is an ad hominem argument, not a straw man. Of course, what he said isn't an ad hominem either, as he is actually attacking your argument.

Ah, Rey, but that's why it's performance art. That's why it's genius, it hides the truth in plain sight. AC's rantings are appreciated on two levels: on the visceral, outrage level (both by the right and left), and on a higher, more refined plane of understanding.

Most people can't get past the outrageous points to catch the humor, but then again most people don't understand why the Onion is funny ("What, a pudding slide wipes out a town? That's stupid").

Now that you're in on the joke, you too can appreciate Ann Coulter's rapier wit. Heck, go to her site right now and read some archived commentary. You'll see her writing in a whole new light.

Sorry, I think I'll pass on that. Knowing that the guy smearing peanut butter all over himself in the public square is an Artist doesn't make him any more pleasant to watch.

I'm also amused at the image of Ann Coulter as an icon of Christian thought.

The image of Ann Coulter as icon of anything approaching thought, instead of reflexive regression and hate, is bizarre.