April 7, 2009

Thomas Sowell gets “unhelpful” [updated]

Given Barack Obama’s improving polling numbers — the result, no doubt, of a backlash against the media for its intense, unfair scrutiny of the President’s overseas trip (particularly, their widespread airing both of Obama’s criticisms of his own countrymen and his deferential bow, in our name, before Saudi royalty) — perhaps Thomas Sowell should do conservatism a favor and just, like, shut his yap for a change:

What does “economic justice” mean, except that you want something that someone else produced, without having to produce anything yourself in return?

[…]

Liberals seem to think that they are doing lagging groups a favor by making excuses for counterproductive and self-destructive behavior. The poor do not need press agents. They need the truth. No one ever said, “Press agents will make you free.”

[…]

Socialists believe in government ownership of the means of production. Fascists believed in government control of privately owned businesses, which is much more the style of this government. That way, politicians can intervene whenever they feel like it and then, when their interventions turn out badly, summon executives from the private sector before Congress and denounce them on nationwide television.

Please, Mr. Sowell. As a conservative realist I beseech you to keep your criticisms to yourself — especially if you feel compelled to use fraught words like “fascism.”

After all, we can’t expect to win elections if we’re going to alienate the fantasy-writers-who-email-Charles-Johnson vote.

Strategy, Mr. Sowell.

Decorum.

****
update: About those polls…

(h/t cj)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:08am
106 comments | Trackback

Comments (106)

  1. 66% God damn that is depressing.

  2. I’ll take all this as your condemnation of my condemnation of the progressive politics of envy and theft, Mr. Goldstein.

    And you thought I couldn’t do language. Meh.

  3. The poll is from CBS so you shouldn’t put too much faith in it. And if it is at all valid then the overall intelligence of the US population has gone down again.
    Either possible explanation works.

  4. But, Jeff, if we don’t act right they will never like us. Moron. Stupid.

    /sarc off

  5. Actually, it’s the intelligence of the American voter that is at question, necessarily. Instead, look at the coverage of Obama’s trip: fawning. No analysis of WHY European leaders seem so taken with Obama (two reasons, he bashes the US and they know he can be easily played). Instead, we get stories about how well his wife’s wardrobe was received, and how “confident” Obama appeared.

    And yet — with the cause and effect staring them in the face — we have pragmatic conservatives who are EMBARRASSED that some of us think Americans would be more likely to embrace conservatism/classical liberalism were they actually informed about conservative ideology and about how the media operates and about how language works and about what Obama’s actual positions portend.

    Sickening, really, that we have “conservatives” counseling us to market conservatism by watering it down to make it seem more user friendly and progressive!

  6. Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams are studs. Unfortuneately they are prophets crying from the wilderness. Our future seems to lie with Nebachanezzer.

  7. Word choice is definitely important, but people need to say what they mean. You shouldn’t trick people into joining your party/movement/ideology. If you happen to do so successfully, it won’t last and may do more harm than good.

  8. Ok, in what way has Europe, or any European nation, led anything globally recently? It’s a serious and honest question. They may just have and I may be forgetting.

    However, this, coming from Obama, is heartening:

    “It is going to be a very difficult challenge. Al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity. It is – you know, don’t fool yourselves because some people say, ‘Well, you know, if we changed our policies with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or if we were more respectful to the Muslim world, suddenly these organisations would stop threatening us.’ That’s just not the case.” I haven’t heard anyone from his camp actually say this, and that pointedly, yet. Good to see.

  9. Wow, it looks like I was deleted and banned from LGF.

    ALL FOR THE CRIME OF DISAGREEING WIT TEH CHARLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Some people have a lot invested in their mistakes, don’t they?

  10. Comment by N. O’Brain on 4/7 @ 10:46 am #

    What was the subject matter of the disagreement? Do you know?

  11. These pragmatic fellows are big into the pragmatism of banning dissenting voices, I’ve noticed.

  12. I don’t buy those poll numbers. Not this his approval ratings aren’t way higher than I like (or than a sane people would have them) but Rasmussen had him at 50% last week, and he got yelled out (CNN I think? Can’t recall who) for not gaming his numbers more, like all the other polling agencies.

    Basically, polls are just another way to lie. I don’t trust any of them, no matter what they say or how much they agree with me.

  13. Two tribes of Americans, apparently speaking the same language, cannot communicate at all. Passing curious situation. Sowell makes perfect sense to me and I speak Canadian. I wonder, is there a word for all of this in … Austrian?

  14. The WSJ ripped Obama a new one as well this morning over the Euro-disaster..
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123905870471194735.html

    “Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something.”

    So declared President Obama Sunday in Prague regarding North Korea’s missile launch, which America’s U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice added was a direct violation of U.N. resolutions. At which point, the Security Council spent hours debating its nonresponse, thus proving to nuclear proliferators everywhere that rules aren’t binding, violations won’t be punished, and words of warning mean nothing.

    They are just so unhlepful….but good thing they didn’t use any scary words like “socialism” or “fascist”, unless of course one would use them to show howw much that those terms are…….out of place

    I’m sorry but the more I contemplate, the more it looks like this country will have to be burned to the ground before people wake up to Jimmy Cahtah Vers. 2.0.

  15. I wonder if we may be looking at a variant of the Phogbound Phenomenon.

    We used to hear about “junkets”, a congresscritter or group thereof on “fact-finding mission” to Soho or the Left Bank of Paris. Some newspapers could get quite indignant about the waste of taxpayers’ money on such trips. I asked my father about it, and he snapped his paper and growled, “It’d be cheaper if they spent all their time doing that.”

    Obama’s out of the country, so he isn’t sitting in the Oval Office screwing more shit up. What’s not to like about that? Hell, if we can get him to spend the next three years and some wandering around the world giving speeches and gladhanding, we might get some of this shit fixed. Is there any way to get Nancy and Harry to join him on his tour?

    Regards,
    Ric

  16. Reading through the comments on LFG, I get the impression ALOT of them are extremely confused about what they believe.

    One guy said he’s a Christian but he appreciates the debate on ID vs. evolution. My first thought : since when does Charles allow debate on the issue.

    Anyway.

  17. Man, writers… even really good ones, ( whose work I enjoy a lot ) will do any thing for market share won’t they?

  18. Oh and don’t kid yourself we castrated conservatives have chosen our side… it is the MSM, and twitter, and deceit.

  19. Hey, he can’t use “fascism”! That word is only authorized for use when describing police, the late Bush administration and the parents of college sophomores. Obama is way to cool to be called “fascist”. He’s a “doing his bestist”. And his wife is a beautiful lady with arms like Gregg Valentino so all of the fawning coverage is to be expected. And really, if you think about it, the only thing a government takeover could actually improve on is GM warranty service. So let’s give Obama a break, there’s lots of Republican city council members out there who spent a lot of money on Congressional exploratory committees that said they could get elected if they just switched parties. And we’re all about getting elected, right?

  20. Is it just me or is there an intellectual break in conversations where some think “Intelligent Design” and others think “intelligent design.” Personally, I do believe in intelligent design because I am a Christian and I believe God created everything. I don’t know how he did it, but I do believe he did it. However, if it is true that “Intelligent Design” argues that humans lived with dinosaurs or whatever, or just some stuff that just don’t gibe with what we’ve learned about our lives here, then I guess I wouldn’t believe in “Intelligent Design.”

    And one can’t “believe in” science. Science is just a thing. Sometimes it’s right. Sometimes it’s wrong. Science used to say that negroes were inferior to whites. Science condemned Jews. Science used to say that the world is flat. I just don’t think you can be a Christian and not acknowledge the value of science. By the same token, being a scientist doesn’t mean you can’t believe in God and intelligent design (n.b. I said “intelligent design” and not “Intelligent Design).

    Anybody following? Does anybody care?

  21. No and WTF?

  22. Jeff: Note that in CBS’s pie chart, 66% plus 24% equal 100%

  23. Dan, that missing 10% is the “not sure” vote.

  24. “Science is just a thing. Sometimes it’s right. Sometimes it’s wrong.”

    Science is a way of thinking. It’s called the “Scientific Method”. It demands intellectual rigor that most people can’t be bothered to learn, much less do.

    Science is deeply intertwined with epistemology: one does not simply know a fact, but must also know the chain of evidence by which it is known. Without that chain of evidence, it is not a fact at all.

    I disagree with my fundamentalist brethren, who concoct wacky ideas to explain, for instance, how triangulation (using the Earth’s own orbit as the base of the triangle) can establish that a distant light source is so far away that the light we’re seeing was emitted thousands of years ago. I’ve actually been told that God created the universe 6000 years ago with that light already between that distant source and Earth. My response to that is that God doesn’t lie to me; that’s Satan’s gig.

    The thing about ID is that there is no way to test it. It is a theological argument, not a scientific one. It offers a way out of the false choice between belief in God and in the discoveries of science. It answers Einstein by saying “Yes, God does play dice with the universe, but when He doesn’t like the outcome, He re-rolls until He does.” When we roll the dice, we can’t find any evidence that they’re weighted, but that’s because God doesn’t care which way those dice fall. The Many Worlds model holds that the dice fall all 36 ways, creating 36 different universes. The Many Retakes model holds that when He does care about the dice, the Director will yell “cut” and have the actors shoot as many takes as He needs until he gets the one he wants. “Print!”

  25. OI, really? Well that graphic sure makes that 2/3 look like 3/4. I’m sure it’s an oversight.

  26. I just thought of that when TEH CHARLES came up. Sorry for harshing everybody’s buzz.

  27. “My response to that is that God doesn’t lie to me; that’s Satan’s gig. “

    I’d ask when they started worshiping Loki.

  28. “Well that graphic sure makes that 2/3 look like 3/4. I’m sure it’s an oversight.”

    Loki has been their lodestar for many many years.

  29. Okay, The Monster. Then how, exactly, is evolution proved? What’s the working theory and what are its evidences? Pretty much the same as creationism. We’re here.

    The Bible is not a science book. I just wish you evolution guys would admit you are holding onto a faith-based principle with flimsier evidence than us creationists. I mean, at least I say “God did it.” Evolutionists say, “well, these eight theories that have been entirely debunked still, you know, sound nice.”

    (And I’m not an ID-er, either. ID theories blow.)

    I’m against all ID and evolutionary theories being taught in schools for the same reason I’m against “climate change” – it’s crappy science that’s entirely politically motivated and does nothing to teach kids real scientific principles. In fact, it undermines it. Teach them the science; let them research the origins of man and universe in college and grad school, where they know that they’re dealing with theory and have the tools to develop it.

  30. Ella, pardon, but are you serious? About not teaching theory in schools? How would you even begin to define “teach kids real scientific principles” without resort to theory?

  31. Ella,

    I think every single point you’ve made regarding evolution will be thoroughly debunked and discredited if you just take the time to review this FAQ from Talk Origins.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/faqs-qa.html

    Evolution is a fact and a theory. There are transitional fossils. We can observe evolution in situ. Evolution DOES NOT attempt to explain what set off the big bang, or “who” or “what” created the universe. It only attempts to explain how organisms evolved in to their current form over time.

    Hope this helps.

  32. One measure of the power of a theory (and evolution is a name which covers a lot of mechanism, some of which haven’t yet been specifically proposed) is its predictive power. Darwin talked about the propagation of “germs” of information that would combine and in some cases blend as a part of inheritance. Mendel mathematized the idea. Watson and Crick demonstrated the fundamentals of how it operates. The Human Genome Project and other genomic studies have gone further.

    That said, much of what we think we may know in its general outlines remains to be discovered in its particulars.

  33. Let’s keep gravity out of the high school physics curriculum. And E&M fields.

  34. Also relativity. I only think that kid over in the next row is my cousin.

  35. I’m all for intelligent design. Let’s see some.

  36. Sure. A big number approves of a black man in the White House. Imagine answering, “I don’t approve of a black man in the White House.” Not going to happen.

    George W is way more well-liked.

  37. The problem with the so-called “debate” over evolution is that I’ve not seen one textbook claim that evolution even tried to describe initial origins. ID is simply the argument that everything was created exactly the way you perceive it at noon last Wednesday.

    It’s not that ID lacks falsifiability (although it does), it lacks provability too. It’s the “Shut up, that’s why” method of science.

    Kinda like Anthropogenic Climate Change.

  38. It’s not that ID lacks falsifiability (although it does), it lacks provability too. It’s the “Shut up, that’s why” method of science.

    Kinda like Anthropogenic Climate Change.

    Well, at least there is no cap-and-trade required if you believe in ID, so it does have that going for it.

  39. However, if it is true that “Intelligent Design” argues that humans lived with dinosaurs or whatever, or just some stuff that just don’t gibe with what we’ve learned about our lives here, then I guess I wouldn’t believe in “Intelligent Design.”

    Please distinguish between ID and Creationism. Creationism holds that the 6 days that Genesis mentions were either six solar days or six of God’s days, which later in the Old Testament are said to be 1000 years. (It does not account for the fact that the Hebrew word that is translated as “day” could also refer to a “stage” or a “phase.”) Dinosaurs were killed in the flood, which also laid down all the strata you see.

    Intelligent Design does not negate evolution or an old earth, it just insists that where the theory of evolution fails to explain something, such as “irreducible complexity” (something that’s not functional in a less-complex stage and therefore could not come into existence by degrees), that’s where God comes in and intervenes.

    ID invokes the “God of the Gaps,” who is an unreliable God indeed, because the scope of his influence shrinks as we discover new things.

    So that makes ID bad science and bad theology.

    Creationism is a proto-scientific interpretation of a non-scientific Hebrew text by Greek positivists.

    But let’s be real about what’s at the root of this debate. It’s not about God, and it’s not about evidence.

    For many years, those who wanted to break away from religious strictures (intellectual or moral) by denying the existence of God were stymied by the argument, “Oh yeah? Well how do you explain all this!” ::gesturing at universe::

    When Darwin provided an alternate explanation, some went ahead and declared that evolution disproves the existence of God, you addle-minded morons, so take your primitive superstitions elsewhere. But science does not ask religious questions, it asks scientific questions, but that didn’t stop the SecProggs from insisting that you had to choose between science and religion, and science has all this evidence and religion doesn’t, so you lose.

    People who want Creationism or ID (not the same thing!) taught in the schools, it’s because they’re tired of having their kids deprogrammed by alleged scientists who think that their scientific acumen also qualifies them to address metaphysics.

    It doesn’t, but when did an academic ever let humility get in the way?

  40. the closer i get to 50 the more i wish i could say that gravity is ‘only a theory.’ =/

  41. In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth; and the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness lay on the face of the Deep; and God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

    I have thought for years that that was the result of somebody who knew Big Bang cosmology trying to explain it to a person who was at the bronze-as-military-secret-weapon stage.

    Regards,
    Ric

  42. My response to that is that God doesn’t lie to me; that’s Satan’s gig.

    You say “lie”, but the truth could be something more along the lines of a different frame of reference with regards to space and time.

  43. I have thought for years that that was the result of somebody who knew Big Bang cosmology trying to explain it to a person who was at the bronze-as-military-secret-weapon stage.

    I feel that way about Genesis as a whole. If you ignore all the timing and look strictly at the sequence, it it pretty spooky how it chronicles what we have come to accept as science.

  44. Ok, in what way has Europe, or any European nation, led anything globally recently?

    can’t remember who said it, but techno dance music and anti-semitism.

  45. Ric–

    Since there was already a dark “deep” when light got its be on, it’s an M Theory bang, not the 20th Century “Big” one. Very modern.

    Only the talking God part of it is still weird. Whenever that starts making sense, I guess we’re about to invent a time machine. Good time to run up the credit cards.

  46. If you believe that ignorant, itinerant goat herders in 5000 B.C. are capable of conceptualizing (let alone understanding) the creation of a universe, I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you.

  47. Oh God (pun intended) not another evo/ID discussion.

  48. If you believe that ignorant, itinerant goat herders in 5000 B.C. are capable of conceptualizing (let alone understanding) the creation of a universe, I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you.

    The account of the creation in Genesis was never meant to be a quasi-scientific explanation. It’s a ceremonial text, not a historical one. Remember that this account comes from Moses, who delivered a law that contains several six-on, one-off cycles. Work six days, rest on the seventh. Cultivate your fields for six years, let them lie fallow on the seventh.

    The Hebrews were the only ones in the world who were doing the Sabbath, so they got an explanation for the rhythm: it was the primordial rhythm that God used when creating the universe. If you were to go back to ancient Israel and ask them if those six days were six solar days or what, they’d know that you’d totally missed the point.

    Medieval scholars who were just starting up the intellectual traditions that resulted in the scientific method performed a proto-scientific reading on Genesis because it was the only information they had about the origin of the world. They figured God was eminently logical, that the universe made sense, and that a systematic study thereof would yield Truth.

    Other than that, religion spoils everything, saith Hitch.

  49. Oh God (pun intended) not another evo/ID discussion.

    Don’t worry; we don’t draw blood on that issue over here.

  50. If you believe that ignorant, itinerant goat herders in 5000 B.C. are capable of conceptualizing (let alone understanding) the creation of a universe, I’ve got a bridge I want to sell you.

    I don’t think anyone today can conceptualize or understand it. I am just saying that the common sequence is a pretty eerie coincidence.

  51. we don’t draw blood on that issue

    No, it’s just fun. Probably blasphemous, though, regardless of which side you’re on.

    Something very strange happened a long time ago in the mountain range that goes from Turkey across to meet up with the Himalayas. The area is littered with origin myths and creation myths, as well as gods of all types and sizes (and the wreckage of the Ark, of course :-) ) Michael Totten visited one tribe; I can’t recall the name unless it’s “Yezidi”. Ararat to Zoroaster, it’s an odd place I wish I knew more about.

    Regards,
    Ric

  52. dicentra:

    I would like to start by offering a gentle correction on a couple of your theological statements:

    Nowhere in the Bible is there a direct 1000 years = 1 day equivocation. The statement to which you refer is actually a reference to the eternal (timeless) nature of God, not being confined to any measure of time for his purposes or his pleasure.

    Also, many Creationists (myself included) tend to ascribe to the fact that in an ex nihilo creation, if a 24 billion year-old rock was created, it would be truly a 24 billion year-old rock, even if it were only brought into physical existence a few thousand years ago.

    Yes, my theory on how the world and all that’s in it came to be depends totally upon faith to be true.

    That said, you make an excellent point regarding the debate over evolution, and I think I’m pretty much just restating in saying that Theology has nothing to say to Science, nor does Science have anything to say to Theology. Science, in its purest form, simply collects data and theorizes based solely upon that data, and it’s a perversion of Science to try and make it lead to any conclusion regarding issues of Theology. Theology, conversely, exists above and beyond the realm of Science, such that its assertions need no Scientific foundation.

    It certainly gets hairy when one starts debating what to teach kids and how, but I don’t think there’s any harm in saying what scientific observations indicate, with a nod to the fact that there are a myriad of other explanations that fall into the category of faith and religion, none of which Science is able to prove or disprove definitively.

  53. #41
    You have to admit that the creation of an infinite creator-god was a pretty sophisticated philisophical leap. All other gods being tied to a great universe cycle that man was powerless to escape. Them old hebrews was wicked smart.

  54. “Comment by Bad Outlaw on 4/7 @ 10:48 am #

    Comment by N. O’Brain on 4/7 @ 10:46 am #

    What was the subject matter of the disagreement? Do you know?”

    Making fun of Chuck’s insitance that O!bama didn’t bow to the Saud, but that President Bush did, because Bush leaned forward to accept a medal around his neck.

  55. Sometimes I hear voices. I blame the Julian Jaynes.

  56. “Science used to say that negroes were inferior to whites. Science condemned Jews.”

    Progressive science, BO.

    c.f. Sanger, Margaret

  57. Jeff, you need a T-shirt that’s moderately popular around here:

    YOU’RE JUST JEALOUS BECAUSE THE VOICES ARE TALKING TO ME

    Regards,
    Ric

  58. “The Bible is not a science book. I just wish you evolution guys would admit you are holding onto a faith-based principle…”

    Um, no. No we’re not.

    Capital “T” Theory is not the same as theory.

    Google it.

  59. Comment by A Balrog of Morgoth on 4/7 @ 1:50 pm #

    Just like to say I like your username.

    I wore out the LOTR in the original Ballentine bootleg edition.

  60. i’m an evolutionary creationist

  61. Hey, guys! What’s going on? Oh. ID/evolution … I think I hear one of my kids crying…. GOTTA RUN!

  62. I thought we were supposed to talk about how Mr. Sowell wasn’t being helpful. Turning off the moderates and all that wot.

  63. that’s what you get for thinking, Carin.

  64. Besides, how come we’re not talking about which church Obama’s gonna pick? All white or all black, since apparently those are the available choices? I can’t WAIT to see how this turns out.

  65. You know, Maggie, I’m just deeply disturbed that this post has gone OT. We have RULES, people.

  66. Also, many Creationists (myself included) tend to ascribe to the fact that in an ex nihilo creation, if a 24 billion year-old rock was created, it would be truly a 24 billion year-old rock, even if it were only brought into physical existence a few thousand years ago.

    Why would God bring into sudden existence layers upon layers of billion-year-old rock? He had to know we would figure out a way to determine the rocks’ age; why allow us to be mislead by the physical world? It’s one thing to not wander the earth so that we can see Him; it’s quite another to litter the place with deceptive evidence. The human genome would be included in this apparent deception.

    I believe that God created the universe; I just don’t understand why you have to posit ex nihilo creation to also posit the existence of God.

  67. Oh, and Thomas Sowell? As a black conservative, he should know his place. Which is NOT to make waves.

  68. Honestly, the more Barack opens his yap in Europe, the more I hate him. He’s pushing climate change, while it’s 30 degrees here and been snowing for TWO DAYS.

  69. Mara Liasson just said the reason we have global warming is because of China and India. Could someone get them to speed things up? I’d like to see my tulips sometime this year.

  70. I’d like to see my tulips sometime this year.

    Me too. I’m still in the tail-end of the crocus phase and the beginning of the daffs, but it all went on hold for about two weeks while we woke up every morning to a skiff of snow. Today it actually got up into the sixties!

    Low. Sunspot. Cycle.

    Every eleven years, like clockwork or something.

  71. I’m watching a bit of Obama speaking in Iraq with a stage full of soldiers behind him. For shame white men, because apparently there is hardly any of ‘em over there. Black men, women … men of other ethnicities. But, only one or two white men among (at least) 30 uniformed troops behind Barack.

    I have to say I’m embarrassed to be white.

  72. “Why would God bring into sudden existence layers upon layers of billion-year-old rock? “

    That’s the Loki part. God as a trickster.

  73. I’m watching a bit of Obama speaking in Iraq with a stage full of soldiers behind him. For shame white men, because apparently there is hardly any of ‘em over there. Black men, women … men of other ethnicities. But, only one or two white men among (at least) 30 uniformed troops behind Barack.

    That’s all that is over there, Carin. Poor, uneducated minorities. Rich white kids don’t get drafted.

  74. Comment by dicentra on 4/7 @ 2:15 pm #
    ————————————–

    Sadly your point is too subtle for many on both sides of the aisle. Which is really too bad.

  75. Iraq is that little country Barack said it would be fine by him if they had a genocide there. He’s a sick fuck what has no business saying anything to soldiers I don’t think.

  76. Every eleven years, like clockwork or something.

    Yep, but there are larger variations of that cycle.

    Right now we’re lower than we’ve been in at least a hundred years.

  77. Comment by dicentra on 4/7 @ 4:47 pm #

    Also, many Creationists (myself included) tend to ascribe to the fact that in an ex nihilo creation, if a 24 billion year-old rock was created, it would be truly a 24 billion year-old rock, even if it were only brought into physical existence a few thousand years ago.

    Why would God bring into sudden existence layers upon layers of billion-year-old rock? He had to know we would figure out a way to determine the rocks’ age; why allow us to be mislead by the physical world? It’s one thing to not wander the earth so that we can see Him; it’s quite another to litter the place with deceptive evidence. The human genome would be included in this apparent deception.

    I believe that God created the universe; I just don’t understand why you have to posit ex nihilo creation to also posit the existence of God.

    ———————————————————————————

    You don’t really. But forgoing the actual account of the Garden of Eden for the slow evolution of man creates some really weird questions about where we got sin nature and etc. This is more of an issue for Christians than some faiths, or course. I haven’t heard the issue addressed all that well by those that subscribe to old earth. As for me … I really don’t know. Some stuff you just have to choose to take on faith and move forward. Ultra strict reliance on sensory data only leads to solipsism – particularly when you learn how vulnerable our minds are to errors in perception and interpretation.

  78. “It is going to be a very difficult challenge. Al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity. It is – you know, don’t fool yourselves because some people say, ‘Well, you know, if we changed our policies with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or if we were more respectful to the Muslim world, suddenly these organisations would stop threatening us.’ That’s just not the case.” I haven’t heard anyone from his camp actually say this, and that pointedly, yet. Good to see.

    This is Baracky blowing sunshine up your ass I think Mr. Infidel. You have to remember that Barack Obama is a lying piece of shit. When you read the dipshit saying things like this remember these seven words: “The era of big govenrment is over.” He lies and lies, this one.

  79. #55
    Did read that book? I read the title and fell asleep.

  80. The ID vs evolution morass (not unlike like the Republican vs Democrat diversion) wastes great hunks of time arguing for a side rather than a underlying reality. So ID’s going to point to God and evolution to no-God chance? Proving points, are we?

    Not yet, and not by these means.

    Neither do anything of the sort and both, used so, are an affront to whatever produced them, I suspect, because they’re certainly an affront to thought. The problem with origins is origins. Where’d stuff come from? Where’d mind come from?

    And why? Why does “why” exist? We don’t even know the how of the entire Universe’s constructs and we’re going to know It’s why? Come on.

    Maybe pop over to Godwin’s One Cosmos blog. Some cool stuff there on this from time to time.

  81. “Al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity”

    please baracky get with the program its “human made disasters” now. didn’t you get janet’s memo?

  82. The Garden of Eden to me is a parable of sentience. Only through self awareness can a creature know guilt or shame or the concept of sin. Paradise was the world of nature that pre-sentient man had enjoyed with all the other animals, ignorance is bliss. Once he became intelligent and self aware, he gained dominion over the rest of the natural world, but at the cost of acquiring a sense of morality also. I don’t think the story of Eden had anything to do with creation or evolution in the physical sense.

  83. oh. *government* I meant.

  84. Intelligent design is a lot juvenile cause you shouldn’t need some blah blah blah theory in science class or any other class in school to underpin your faith. That’s pretty weak-ass faith I think what needs some public school union wench to shore it up.

  85. That’s pretty weak-ass faith I think what needs some public school union wench to shore it up.

    i feel the same way about global cooling global warming climate change

  86. dude would fit in in moe’s tribe

  87. climate change is child abuse I think

  88. I’m not capable of really critiquing TTOE. The basics that I learned seem plausible, but I’m still offering it an act of faith. I’m an evolution fundamentalist. Right now, it seems to explain some things.

    I love the Neanderthals. There was a great piece in National Geographic a few months back. They found the remains of some Neanderthals in a cave in Spain, and the markings on the bones indicated they died at the hands of some modern humans who beat them, and then made a meal out of them.

    Supposedly they were red-haired and green-eyed. And, IIRC, they buried their dead.

    I’ve been reading Roots of Revolution by Franco Venturi. And older history of the roots of revolution and populism in Russia, predating Lenin by nearly a century. It’s really slow going because it’s so dense. Isaiah Berlin wrote the introduction.

    So, naturally, I’ve been thinking about materialism. It dawned me a while back that should nuclear holocaust occur and a building from scratch begin, the first materialist who piped up would have to be exiled, lest the infection spread.

    Why and hope and progress are intimately connected.

    From Tom Wolfe and his Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died:

    Recently I happened to be talking to a prominent California geologist, and she told me: “When I first went into geology, we all thought that in science you create a solid layer of findings, through experiment and careful investigation, and then you add a second layer, like a second layer of bricks, all very carefully, and so on. Occasionally some adventurous scientist stacks the bricks up in towers, and these towers turn out to be insubstantial and they get torn down, and you proceed again with the careful layers. But we now realize that the very first layers aren’t even resting on solid ground. They are balanced on bubbles, on concepts that are full of air, and those bubbles are being burst today, one after the other.”

    I suddenly had a picture of the entire astonishing edifice collapsing and modern man plunging headlong back into the primordial ooze. He’s floundering, sloshing about, gulping for air, frantically treading ooze, when he feels something huge and smooth swim beneath him and boost him up, like some almighty dolphin. He can’t see it, but he’s much impressed. He names it God.

    This is an older piece by Wolfe and I think neuroscience has advanced beyond what’s written, but the last paragraph is the moral of the story.

    The quest for why really matters to man. And nothing makes that more certain and clear than reading a book about the roots of revolution.

  89. What does “economic justice” mean, except that you want something that someone else produced, without having to produce anything yourself in return?

    Yeeeeees, dat’s wat it meens, mud sheltered brok diks.

    Or maybe it means one doesn’t produce an economic and systematic banking collapse but one has to watch their tax dollars pay for the collapse that they produced, you know, the best and the brightest, the most talented self-servers, the mostest bonused! Collapser Executive Officers! Chief Failure Outlaws! It must be outlawonomics to loot the tax payers and then feign indignity when pronouncing “how dare you try and stop me! Where’s the justice!”

  90. Comment by Mary Louise on 4/7 @ 6:28 pm #

    I’ve been reading Roots of Revolution by Franco Venturi.

    That book is so thick that it could easily stop a bullet from a crazed r-winger – Obama ain’t gonna take my guns! – on a two-hour killing spree.

  91. a bullet from a crazed r-winger…on a two-hour killing spree.

    the jew hating neonazi is a progressive like you

  92. You could be entirely right, thor, but this presidency would still be a disaster. Obama has hurt the economy with his lies and his incompetence and he doesn’t know what to do and he’s lost and all he can do is make speeches in socialist Europe while thousands and thousand lose their jobs here every day. He’s making a lot more of a positive difference in communist Cuba than he is here. That’s just sad.

  93. oh. that should be thousands and *thousands* … thousands of thousands of people every day what realize that their dipshit pezzydent lies like a flogged Pakistani girl I think.

  94. I don’t think economic justice really has much to do with the banking dealos.


    Economic justice, which touches the individual person as well as the social order, encompasses the moral principles which guide us in designing our economic institutions. These institutions determine how each person earns a living, enters into contracts, exchanges goods and services with others and otherwise produces an independent material foundation for his or her economic sustenance. The ultimate purpose of economic justice is to free each person to engage creatively in the unlimited work beyond economics, that of the mind and the spirit

  95. oh. that should be thousands *and* thousands … thousands and thousands of people that voted for change what are getting shitcanned daily while Baracky creates opportunities for teh Cuban pipples and destroys jobs here at home by banning oil development and regulating everything and anything he can get his Chicago street trash hands on.

  96. You know, Michigan was “there” for Baracky, yet every day more shops are closing up.

    I’m guessing, though, that the UAW isn’t really worked up about this stuff, because he’s going to do a orderly bankruptcy, yet the union guys are going to keep their deals.

  97. “arrogant, dismissive, derisive”

    Obama as Jackie Chiles.

  98. That Baracky, he’s a driver he’s a winner, things are gonna change I can feel it.

  99. Obama and Co: The flaccid sons rising up against the tempered steel of the Fathers.

  100. @97

    Although labor laws remained in effect, deregulation made clear how much New Deal–era trucking cartel laws had helped to sustain the monopoly power of the Teamsters. The Teamsters basically priced themselves out of the market, and they lost the monopoly profits that had enabled Jimmy Hoffa and his associates to engage in so many crooked deals. Deregulation of New Deal cartel laws probably did more than all the congressional investigating committees to curb union corruption.

    ?

  101. Just to add weight to what dicentra said regarding the days of creation actually being phases rather than solar days…the sun wasn’t created until the 3rd day.

    Also, I second what happyfeet said about ID being taught in school being juvenile.

    Oh, and Sowell is right on. Obama is a fascist tyrant wannabe.

  102. Pingback: Moe Lane » John Dickerson nuances his explanation of Obama’s nuance.

  103. robust sanity

  104. router – I’ve been wondering these past few weeks why Ron Gettelfinger has nothing to say. He is usually everywhere on the radio blabbering on and on. And obama took pains to note that the workers were NOT responsible for the auto mess. No sir. They’ve been great. So, with everything looking toward bankruptcy … why is Gettlefinger so calm?

  105. Well Carin, it’s snowing BECAUSE of climate change/global warming/. Not the deathstar. Geez.

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