Monday, October 30, 2006


Scare Quotes

Maybe it's Halloween -- and the curse of the living dead ... neck up division.

Maybe it's the upcoming elections -- kinda like kicking over rocks in terms of what crawls out.

Or maybe -- and this is the most frightening possibility of all -- maybe they're all around us every day, every hour and I'm just noticing it more now ...

Anyway, the truly stupid seem especially ... um ... thick on the ground of late.

First there is the Mike S. Adams matter over at PZ Myers place. Not that Adams is stupid -- he's parlayed supposed victimization (by all-powerful "feminists," no less) into a lucrative gig -- but the people he leveraged to get him the nice speaking dates and honoraria are less than clued. Once the inevitable emails started rolling in, there was a lot of use of "liberal pussy." As PZ noted, that's kind of strange considering that's what Mike S. Adams fears the most.

Then Ed Brayton has the story of Craig Smith (already famous for claiming that that oil is not fossil fuel at all but is constantly regenerated within the earth and, therefore, in no shortage) writing in World Net Daily (not for nothin' widely known as Wing Nut Daily), about a new plot some brave, but unfortunately anonymous, whistle blower has conveyed to him. The message he received (despite his tinfoil hat) is that George Soros, John Kerry, Michael Moore and Howard Dean are plotting to make America godless and devoid of all Jews and Christians by

... the removal of any mention of God in our society. No Ten Commandments. No mention of God in our Pledge of Allegiance. Even ultimately taking ''In God we Trust'' off our money. All prayer at sporting events would be outlawed. The mere mention of God would be punishable by prison. In essence, God would be removed from America.
And the purpose would be:

[T]hat a godless nation, devoid of all Jews and Christians, that didn't allow the mention of God, would no longer be a threat to their goal. Islamo-Fascists would then focus their full attention and fury on countries like Italy that host the Vatican; Australia, with its large Evangelical populations; and ultimately Israel, where the basis of belief in Judaism and Christianity are founded.
In other words, they are supposedly trying to make America safe by making us all non-religious, thus taking away what the "Islamo-Fascists" hate about us -- the fact that we don't share their religion.

Now for the really stupid part ... somebody published that.

Lastly, there is the following that I was tipped off to by Jim Chen of Jurisdynamics, et al. I hesitate to give this link, as simply opening it might cause a drop in the IQs of the non-immunized populace of 10 points or more. Even someone like myself, after years of reading creationist sites in connection with the Quote Mine Project and fully inoculated against the worst sorts of stupidity, could almost feel brain cells withering under the assault.

Those not so inured to the ravages of utter mindlessness should not continue reading. Perhaps you should go and partake of more intellectual pursuits, such was watching a few hundred hours of televised no-rules prize fighting.

Anyway, in response to Professor Chen's eloquent article on the ugly backlash to the New Jersey gay marriage ruling and the decision's similarity to the US Supreme Court's ruling that antimiscegenation laws are unconstitutional, a particular mouthbreather going under the nom de plume of IndustrialBlog wrote this:

[A]bout this nonsensical, incredibly racist concept that somehow homosexual sex is analogous to interracial sex ... just think about the difference between someone asking you whether you've slept with someone of another race and whether you've slept with someone of the same gender. Did that feel like the same fundamental question to you?

Let me put it perhaps more crudely from a white male perspective. If Playboy's Miss November is black with perfect C cups, you'd feel one way. If Miss November is white but has a pair of big hairy balls, you'd feel another way. Really not analogous, is it?

Do they even teach logic in college anymore?
The sheer stupidity of simply offering up his somewhat greater emotional revulsion at the sight of male genitalia than at the sight of the exposed breasts of black women (at least if they are "perfect C cups") and then mistaking the "feel" of that for logic is almost beyond belief. Granting the frightful possibility that this person has attracted a mate of the female persuasion and might actually procreate, has it occurred to him to ask her or any other woman which of the two she'd prefer to see? What about lesbians? And you have to wonder if he ever asked himself just why those antimiscegenation laws were enacted in the first place and what kind of emotional revulsion the people who voted for them felt. No, I take that back ... introspection is definitely not in IndustrialBlog's repertoire.

Isn't the next boloid overdue?

The sheer stupidity of simply offering up his somewhat greater emotional revulsion at the sight of male genitalia than at the sight of the exposed breasts of black women (at least if they are "perfect C cups") and then mistaking the "feel" of that for logic is almost beyond belief

Yup: I call this fallacy the Argument From Personal Revulsion -- the notion that God is as squeamish and neurotic as you are. It also shows up in the "I ain't descended from no stinking monkey!" disproof of evolution.

(Though I'm tempted to use the Fallacy myself, as an argument that certain alleged foodstuffs should be banned).
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