Monday, December 05, 2011

THIS Is Why People Think Republicans Are Stupid.

It is, let's be honest - just as it's not fair that my "Liberal" friends get stereotyped as weak and/or wimpy; it's a little unfair that my Republican friends get stereotyped as being idiots. Granted, running presidential candidates who reject the scientific facts of things like evolution, climate change, or in general hold science and knowledge as inferior to "belief" doesn't really help their case.

Also not helping their case? Doing a 7 minute segment on Fox Business attacking "The Muppets" for "brainwashing" children with an anti-corporate message. (Summary of charges? The bad guy is an oil magnate named Tex Richman.)


Reneiw said...

Yup. Dumb.
But then again, most day-time TV (especially news) is pretty dumb to begin with.

Darren said...

Oh fox do you ever stop delivering the cold hard truth :P

Anonymous said...

Since when was the message of The Matrix that the human race was a virus on mother nature? Could they really not think of enough legitimate examples of pro-environmental movies that they had to make one up?

antecedentless said...

>climate change
>scientific fact
>hold science and knowledge as inferior to "belief"

OOOh Kaeeeyyy...
One kind decending from another over millions of years is neither observable nor repeatable. I can line up bones to show you cats evolved from dogs.

There has not been any warming in nearly a decade. The man made global warming scare is simply a means of keeping poor nations poor.

As for your "knoledge vs belief" stuff, I suggest you re-read Isaiah 44.

Anonymous said...

You know what else isn't observable or repeatable? Murder trials without video evidence. Yet we convict based on other evidence. We are capable of drawing conclusions when the evidence supports it. In science, that evidence is then reviewed by peers in the same field over and over again. At least try to understand science before spouting nonsense.

I like how you cite a book as evidence which has contractions contained within its own text. You can read other things than 2000 years old books written by sheep herders.

Sam said...

@ antecedentless...

"I can line up bones that show cats evolved from dogs"

That's a pretty impressive claim friend, especially if you can prove it with carbon dating and the chronological ordering of the many layers of earth that make up the billions of years our earth has been in existence!!!

This could be a new internet meme:

"I could line up bones that prove [random animal] evolved into [2nd random animal/random object]!!!

I could line up bones that prove hamsters evolved from Queen Elizabeth the first

I could line up bones that prove pandas evolved from Norway!

I could line up bones that prove invertebrates evolved from skeletons!!!

Markus Aurelius said...

@Ante-bro: Come on, asking for actual evidence and referencing the Bible? Don't you know the facts are always behind the "experts"? (even if the experts have been discovered swapping emails in which they encourage data-rigging, ignore that)

@anony-whatever: Pretty sure there were some tent-makers, fishermen, revolutionaries, and kings involved there, too.

Pat said...


First off, the video you posted is loaded with misinformation and illogical conclusions. I would go through point by point and explain everything that's wrong, but I'm not going to bother because if you actually cared about the truth of the matter, you would have researched and verified the video's claims yourself. But clearly you're much more interested in demonizing people you disagree with and uncomfortable with the idea that perhaps the lifestyle you enjoy may be doing serious harm to the world.

Evolution over the course of millions of years is obviously not observable and repeatable, but evolution in smaller species that can produce several generations in a short period of time has been observed and studied a great deal. Genes mutate. This is a fact. Everyone has mutated genes. Even you. Sometimes these mutations change something subtle or significant that makes that organism more competitive and more likely to survive and/or procreate, thus passing on these new genes. This is fact. It happens. It has happened. It will always happen.

Your mention of Isaiah 44 I think is meant to reference the bit about idolatry? I'm not sure why that's relevant here. You might have to be more specific on which verse. There's a lot of various topics in that chapter.

Anonymous said...

@Markus Aurelius

The supposed "data-rigging" has already been debunked ( as "phrases from the emails were also taken out of context by climate change sceptics including US Senator Jim Inhofe and former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin as though they referred to a decline in measured global temperatures, even though they were written when temperatures were at a record high"

Also, you seem to be gravely mistaken about what it means to be an expert. Despite you claim that "facts are always behind the experts", it turns out that the exact opposite is true. Experts are always behind the facts, and will continue to support and promote the facts no matter how uncomfortable the conclusions they reach.

@antecedentless will someone please explain to me what the word "kind" means? It seems to be purposefully vague (aka not strictly defined by science) so that if it is ever proven that one "kind" descended from another, this would be proof that they weren't ever of a different kind at all (see True Scotsman Fallacy). This is a similar tactic used by the "missing link crowd", where every time an intermediate fossil is found, it then becomes necessary to find a new link between the old fossil and the new intermediary.

Eodrid said...

I can't see how anyone can watch stuff like this and not see that Fox News is biased as hell.

Nathan said...

I honestly believe that that when the new Superman comes out, there will be a segment where they have a panel about the socialist, Marxist, illegal alien Superman picking on the successful, capitalist, and businessman man Lex Luthor who has done nothing other that creating good American jobs based on hidden laboratories and kyptonite based weapons.

biomechanical923 said...

Climate change is a fact.
Human-caused climate change is a myth.

It's true that the earth is changing. There's absolutely no evidence that the change is caused by human activity.

When faced with this truth, most global warming fearmongers simply try to defend their position with a sort of "Pascale's Wager"-esque defense.

"Well maybe climate change isn't caused by humans, but we should all go green anyway because what's the harm in that?"

Anonymous said...

I kind of doubt they actually saw the movie, they just saw the sypnosis online and got mad. The Muppets as a lot more messages for kids that are going to overwhelm the bad guy in their mind! It's about finding your place in the world and ironically, that with enough will, you can achieve your goals!

that movie was awesome.

Ryan said...

Actually, the Muppets *are* kind of anti-capitalist. Their first movie was about how pursuing dreams and family is more important than selling out your ideals in order to sell things, then they doubled down by having the businessman character decide to commit murder instead of admit he's wrong. The new movie is about how the pursuit of cash always deadens the spirit - witness Fozzie singing an advertising jingle to the tune of "rainbow connection" or Kermit's hollow life in a mansion or the various network execs refusing to air the Muppets because there isn't enough money in it or...yeah, Tex Richman, whose whole persona implies that being a rich and powerful businessman requires you to be a heartless bully. I don't think the Muppets are communists, but they definitely espouse relationships and artistic fulfillment over wealth. Having said that, Antecedentless is doing a good job of proving that Republicans are stupid all on his own, if by "stupid" you mean "ideologically committed to facts such that no evidence could possibly change his/their opinion", but what else is new?

Ryan said...

2 things: "facts" as "version of the facts"...typing too fast.

Second, @ Bio...I am confident - not certain, but confident - that you are wrong. The people who I talk to who are Republicans all pretty much say what you say, but the people I talk to who are scientists are all pretty convinced.

I'm not well enough informed on the science to be authoritative, but what I continue not to understand is what the motive for the Great Climate Change Conspiracy would be. Scientists *love* proving each other wrong. If it could be done with Man-Made Climate Change, we would know it was a hoax by now. But pretty much what happens when people do the science is that they keep finding the data to be convincing.

Ask yourself this question: if I could show you irrefutable proof that there *was* man-made climate change, would you favor a Carbon Tax or some similar solution? I suspect you wouldn't...because there are certain opinions you can only hold because you can't handle the idea that they aren't true. Among them:

a) Gay marriage is wrong and a threat to hetero marriage

b) Climate Change is a hoax

c) Tax Cuts don't create deficits

d) There is a conspiracy by black people to stuff ballot boxes

e) Government can never do anything good

f) Evolution is a trick, dinosaur bones are a test of faith

g) Fox News is the only source of TV news that can be trusted

h) Fox News can be trusted, at all, ever.

Now. How many of those do you believe? Because every one is a nail in the coffin of your credibility.

Paladin said...

TO be fair Fox News must know more about the Muppets than we give credit.

After all, FOX has more experience in people with hands up their ass.

Anonymous said...

>>Since when was the message of The Matrix that the human race was a virus on mother nature

Well, it was Smith's view of the human race in pretty much those words.

I'd say credit for getting it partially right, but Fox News tends to deal in half-truths on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Seeing as Agent Smith was a CORRUPTED computer program, I don't think it's fair to say that this was a point of view the movie was trying to promote, and just reminds me of the whole Romney "If we keep talking about the economy we'll lose" quote.

Daniel said...


a) Gay marriage is wrong. Lesbian marriage is hot.
b) "Climate Change" is a hoax perpretrated by right wing interest groups that want to change the vernacular away from the much more negative sounding (and accurate) term "global warming"
c) The Laffer curve is a real thing, but the USA is currently very far to the left of the peak
d) Don't forget the brown people, they're guilty of it, too. The founding fathers clearly intended for only White, land owning men to vote. And whatever the founding fathers said ~225 years ago must obviously be the best course of action for us today.
e) That's right. The government can never do anything good, and there is nothing more American than standing up to authority, just like the founding fathers did. Unless the president is a republican, in which case it is unamerican to not support our commander in chief 100%, and all who question his (sorry Palin/Bachman, but just as the founders intended it will always be "his") authority must be terrorists.
f) dinosaur bones are a test of faith: if you think dinosaur bones were left behind by the devil, you have way too much faith
g) Fox News is the only source of TV news that can be trusted... to be hilarious
h) If Fox News says the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up by 78.41 points, I would believe them, and I consider myself a relatively credible guy

Fett101 said...

Fox News is probably just mad at the Sam Eagle dig.

antecedentless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
antecedentless said...

Wow; I'm surprised no one accused me of arguing from ignorance for the existence of a deity or pointed out my lack of w in knowledge.

For every clip like the one moviebob provided, there are at least three instances of idiocy from MSLSD.

>more interested in demonizing people
Well, I did accuse them of hurting the poor. I was wrong. They don't hurt. They murder. I doubt you will ever do anything like that yourself, Pat, so have at it. Make a fool out of me.

>what is kind
No matter how many in-between stages/generations from one form of DNA (not even the only form of inherited software/\/bacteria share DNA all the time, and do not change species) to the other one may try to create, putting partial/full human DNA in a monkey zygote will only result in a very diseased monkey. That is the definition of kind. You CANNOT under ANY circumstances produce one from the other.

>Murder trials without video evidence
Forensic does involve things that are observable/repeatable, say the way a body rots after life is gone; but establishing a case for any crime is not. It may use scientifically established laws, but evidence for trials are not science. They're history. Big difference.

>carbon dating
can only go back about 20,000 years, and that is after making HUGE presumptions about radiation from the sun 20,000 years ago. The kind of inter species changes Darwin claims occur over much larger time spans. Chronology from geologic layers is guesswork at best.

biomechanical923 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
biomechanical923 said...

All I said was that there's no evidence that humans are responsible for climate change. You can show me the ice core samples that measure CO2 levels over the past 200 million years, but correlation does not imply causality as much as we may like it to.

Nice to see that you're passively accusing me of bad faith. Because everybody who disagrees with you must be a Republican Christian racist right?

Jeffrey Sung said...

I am a chemistry graduate student working in an environmental chemistry lab. From what I understand, there actually is evidence that humans are responsible for climate change. However, within the scientific community, the debate is on how big the effect is, because at this time, the uncertainty in the measurements is quite large.**

Unfortunately this debate is of a more technical nature than is suitable for debate in a public forum, and something is definitely lost in translation between the data and explanations of the data. In my opinion, the arguments for and against global warming typically spoken by politicians, activists, and lobbyists are all loaded with political undercurrents, because the lay explanation of the data uses more loosely defined terms than that used in the actual science itself, thus allowing for broader interpretation and twisting of meanings (by both sides).

For anyone who wants to attack me for having a conflict of interest since I work in an environmental chemistry lab, and would thus not have a job if global warming were proved to be incorrect, must unfortunately point out that in truth, the science done in this lab (and I am sure in every lab, really) is actually of a more fundamental nature than just determining whether or not man-made global warming is in fact occurring. Thus, this (and all other environmental chemistry) labs would STILL get funding even if some omnipotent being appeared before us and informed us that global warming was, in fact, not being caused by us. So the argument that scientists working in this field have a conflict of interest is completely invalid.

**Actually, thinking more deeply, it is actually completely impossible for humanity to exist without increasing the effects of global warming. Assuming we had never industrialized, even by having fire for warmth, releasing methane gas, etc., humanity would actually always contribute to global warming. The issue, of course, is simply by how much.

Anonymous said...


The fact that you replied to my request for a definition with a (poor) singular example is troubling, but I will continue despite this primary set back.
I will also ignore the fact that a zygote (monkey or otherwise) already has a full set of chromosomes, and adding any extra DNA (other than plasmid or viral DNA, of course) would result in aneuploidy, so of course the resulting monkey would be sick. Nevertheless, I will continue despite this secondary setback, and assume you meant the original nucleus was removed and replaced with the human nucleus.
This effectively renders your definition to be nearly identical to the standard species definition of "a group of organisms capable of interbreeding" with the added benefit of not having to worry about physical barriers to copulation. It is unclear whether this definition accounts for the fact that, if a great dane's fetus were to attempt to mature in the uterus of a chihuahua, the resulting offspring would be born diseased (due to malnutrition and developing in a uterus that caused it physical stress due to its small size). By your definition it would appear that a great dane and a chihuahua would NOT be of the same kind (inability to form non-"diseased" offspring) despite extensive documentation that mankind created both dog breeds from the same species, but I will ignore this third problem in your "definition" because I have even more evidence that contradicts your claims.

Stating that "you CANNOT under ANY circumstances produce one from the other" doesn't make it true, no matter how many words you write with caps lock and italicize. I say that this is a statement, and not part of the definition, because it is it's own sentence (also, if it were part of the definition, we would fall right back into the True Scotsman Fallacy territory). I will therefore assume that this sentence represents the predictive power you definition of different kinds. It would predict that, if we started with a species of breed B, and over time genetic drift and geographical isolation caused two new breed A and C to branch off from species B, they would still all be able to interbreed (despite any physical barriers). Under antiquated speciation theory this prediction would seem sound. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the many documented ring species(
In a ring species like the example I just gave above, breeds A and B would still be able to interbreed, in addition to B and C being able to interbreed. However, the zygotes of breeds A and C have become incompatible. This is the case for the Herring Gull (the American Herring Gull can't breed with the Heuglin gull, but the East Siberian Herring Gull can breed with both) as well as the Ensatina salamanders and Greenish Warbler.

That should sufficiently prove that the claim "you CANNOT under ANY circumstances produce one from the other" is demonstrably false.

Anonymous said...

Feeding trolls...
Feeding trolls never changes.

Fett101 said...

"Wow; I'm surprised no one accused me of arguing from ignorance"
I think everyone's just being polite by not bringing it up.

"can only go back about 20,000 years, and that is after making HUGE presumptions about radiation from the sun 20,000 years ago. The kind of inter species changes Darwin claims occur over much larger time spans. Chronology from geologic layers is guesswork at best"

60,000 years or so, actually. There are other elements that can be used for dating for things older than that, though they're not as accurate to the year. Plus using a single data point is pretty weak so scientists also check things like in what strata the fossils were found, how these match up with other sites, what other material is there, etc.

How do you account for how well genetics and plate tectonics fit with evolution as Darwin had no knowledge of such things?

JeffBergeron said...

Haven't seen the Muppets yet (I live in Quebec, so I'm waiting for the DVD to come out so I can watch it in its original language. No French dubbing for me, thank you very much), but I know a few people who've seen it and the whole "oil tycoon" thing is pretty obviously played for laughs. I was worried about it myself when I heard of it (climate skeptic here, full disclosure) but I have no problem with that.

Hell, if you think children will get BRAINWASHED by a goddamn movie, I'm telling you, you're underestimating kids there. They're way smarter than that.

Sylocat said...

@biomechanical923: All I said was that there's no evidence that humans are responsible for climate change.

Except there is. A lot of it.

Unknown said...

peace the fuck out. <who said that?

Ryan said...

Sorry, Bio, I don't assume you're racist, etc. except insofar as I can't help noticing that rejecting climate science is so frequently linked to a political perspective, and that (to me) makes the opinion inherently suspect. I'm also pretty convinced you're wrong. Ironically, even if California is underwater in 2050, we still won't resolve the argument, because the right will be claiming it's natural or (worse) an Act of God. But I don't assume you're ideologically contaminated like antecedentless, who is is either a troll or just really sheltered and deluded, in which case I don't think it's worth arguing with him because honestly it's kind of sad that there are people like that.

Dan, that was awesome.

Joe said...

@Ryan: It's pretty much the most-used Hollywood plot (after the Hero's Journey) that characters learn to put their dreams, feelings, family, etc. before money.

It's not because Hollywood is anti-capitalist (far from it). More likely, it's a combination of a) most movie-goers aren't rich businessmen, but are probably resentful or envious of them, so they make a convenient, unoffensive target (if you're that rich, you usually don't care if people don't like you), b) many people in Hollywood have divorced parents and/or spend long hours working and not with their families, and they're projecting their childhood traumas and parental guilt on the rest of us, and c) People who've succeeded in Hollywood have followed their dream of becoming a screenwriter, director, actor, etc. instead of getting a "reliable" job in a non-creative field, so they can sell us stories of wish-fulfillment from a position of credibility.

Pat said...


I'll only address the part you directed at me specifically.

So just so I know what you're arguing here, you're claiming that liberal scientists who banned DDT are responsible for the deaths of the people in other countries who are dying of malaria?

OK, so you think that the U.S. banning DDT is why it's no longer being used in countries that are completely unaffected by our laws?


No, DDT is not being used as much anymore because of the point that your article gladly brushes over. The effectiveness of DDT HAS decreased. It has decreased so much that some countries stopped using it just because other methods were cheaper and more effective.

Which actually brings us back to evolution. We used a ton of DDT to kill and repel mosquitoes. The mosquitoes that survived and reproduced where the mosquitoes that could survive exposure to DDT and resist its repellent. So now the majority of mosquitoes in regions that primarily used DDT are resistant. Evolution in action, my friend.

I won't deny that DDT has its uses. If used in moderation so that it doesn't saturate the mosquito population and is only used to keep mosquitoes out of smaller areas, the somewhat negligible carcinogenic effects would probably be a reasonable trade-off for death from mosquito-borne disease.

I will also admit that there have been cases where organizations have refused to use DDT at all simply because of its reputation.

However, to say that these people are solely responsible for the deaths of millions of people is just plain stupid.

It is possible that increased usage of DDT would reduce some deaths caused by malaria in certain specific regions, but other methods have proven to be significantly more effective and cost-effective. The best approach would be to use as many methods as possible.

DDT alone didn't and wouldn't fix anything.

So you've had your turn demonizing people you disagree with. Here's my turn. Many religious groups promote abstinence-only sex education and try and prevent the widespread use of condoms in developing nations. If condoms were more commonly used in Africa, there would be a significantly reduced spread of HIV in that country. So should I say that all of those religious groups that refuse to let Africans have condoms are responsible for over a million deaths from AIDS in Africa? Based on your claims regarding reduced DDT usage and malaria, it appears consistent to me.

But somehow I doubt you'll admit that.

Look, I know why you believe the things you do. You hear the "scientific consensus" on something and it is often inconvenient on inconsistent with your own beliefs. So you listen to pundits who share your beliefs and they scour the media for any possible counter-argument and as soon as you hear it, it SOUNDS true. It feels consistent with what you believe, so you hold it above the "scientific consensus" and convince yourself that the people who disagree with you are just sheep believing everything they hear. You don't want to critically analyze the articles and videos you've posted because you agree with them.

This is something everyone does occasionally. But we have to learn to call ourselves on it.

I'm not interested in calling you a fool. I don't need to tear down your beliefs to feel better about my own. I'm only interested in the truth of the matter. Just like you I want to believe the right thing, I just don't assume that I already do.

biomechanical923 said...

Why would you send me a link to a bunch of data that doesn't even prove your point?

Andrew said...


I feel sorry for you if you don't see that science is better that religion at explaining these types of phenomena.

For a start - science allows for the existence of religion but the converse is not true.

You can lay bones next to each other as much as you like but the real evidence is in things like mRNA progression.

I give up.

James said...

FOX News is dumb. No question there. The only worthwhile news source is Reason magazine.

On a OT political note, Gary Johnson is the only presidential candidate who supports gay marriage rights. Obama, however, only supports civil unions. Something to think about, there.

biomechanical923 said...

I don't watch it, but a lot of people recommend PBS NewsHour.

Zennistrad said...


I think that that data conclusively shows that carbon levels right now are higher than they've been in HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

It MIGHT be a coincidence that all this stuff is happening right when humanity is emitting the most carbon into the atmosphere, and that the rise started in the middle of the industrial revolution when coal and oil became big, but that's a pretty large coincidence.

It's like reaching your hand into a fire and saying that it's a coincidence that your hand got burned. It's like claiming the holocaust never happened despite the loads and loads of historical records.

People who refuse to believe in global warming are simply refusing to relate cause and effect because they don't like having to change their comfortable way of life. But one day, this head-in-the-sand response that so many people have will be their own destruction.

Anyone who's ever taken Biology 101 will know that those unfit for their environment will die. Cling to antiquated beliefs, and you'll die off while those capable of changing themselves to suit their environment will live on.

Quite frankly, I'd be more than happy to see people who refuse to change be weeded out of the gene pool. Our world would be so much better if they were.

Aiddon said...

Ah Rupert Murdock's sensationalist empire continues. How I can't wait until that old bastard dies.

Mr. Cap said...

@ Bob (because I'm kidding myself into thinking you'll go over some comments made from older posts, but what the hell, right?)

Is it not also stupid to assume all Republicans watch Fox News? I know many well-respected Republicans (family members, friends, acquaintances, etc.), all of whom equate Fox News to piles of feces flung by monkeys. My own father, Republican, HATES Fox News for their garbage.

It's the same stereotype that, as I recalled you lightly mentioning above, believe Democrats to all be weak-minded-self-absorbed-hateful-navel-gazing-Michael-Moore-supporting-hippies (oh I have heard some views on Democrats that dripped acid in their words).

I understand that your general point is to lightly touch on the subject that the tripe spewed from the orifice of Fox News is a huge cause for the misconception of Republicans.

Yet is it too much to ask for a chance to observe the other side of idiocy from say LIBERAL MEDIA? I understand that the idiots of conservative networks are just giving you a Scrooge McDuck treasure trove of stupidity for you to swim in.

HOWEVER, I will cross the line and say that it goes against intellectual thought to only present one side and not examine the other side to contrast or compare. It takes more than a general knowledge, you have to look at a different perspective and unbiased (Hard? I know, but give it a shot). I'm not trying to be a smartass, I'm merely suggesting how interesting it would be to see you showing the stereotypical democrat image that makes democrats look wimpy or weak-minded.

Then again, I'm only kidding myself b/c the last time you discussed anything with me was when we talked about Batman a few years ago. Shalom.

Anonymous said...

Right in the first two sentences. There it is; I need not watch more. "Successful businessman as evil."

It's not that SB's are inherently evil, it's just that with great money comes great lack of fucks given. Money is corrupting.

And yes, it makes sense in a narrative that someone who has more power than the good guys are the bad guys. And success leads to power.