It's easy. Bait your hook with stupid.
It's true, we're a sucker for that stuff, although it does have a downside. We'll come up, swallow the bait, follow the line to its source, devour the poor fool holding the pole, and then waddle off, all fat and smug. It's our nature, we can't help it.
So, for instance, an Indiana politician who is considered a potential presidential candidate, Mitch Daniels, talks about atheism.
People who reject the idea of a God — who think that we're just accidental protoplasm — have always been with us. What bothers me is the implications — which not all such folks have thought through — because really, if we are just accidental, if this life is all there is, if there is no eternal standard of right and wrong, then all that matters is power.
And atheism leads to brutality. All the horrific crimes of the last century were committed by atheists — Stalin and Hitler and Mao and so forth — because it flows very naturally from an idea that there is no judgment and there is nothing other than the brief time we spend on this Earth.
You should read the rest of that interview, especially the part where he talks about not being ostentatious with his faith. It's so precious.
The projection is strong in this one. I don't know if I'd want a president who thought the world was divided into people who thought the only two possible purposes in life were to glorify God or a brutal drive to power.
Daniels is an example of a Christian considered smart enough to be president. You should see what the brain-damaged masses believe. It's always fun to be lectured about what I believe by a marginally literate kook. Did you know that atheists believe in these six things?
- Tarot cards.
- Saying OMG.
She even made a video about it!
But wait! You haven't seen the scariest part! Who is this person?
Jellooo I'm Bev, I'm a health care provider, I work in a hospital and nursing home. I also earn my degree in Bachelor of Science major in Management, I teach academic program to toddlers, children and young adults, I also teach speech to foreign student.
If only she'd move to Indiana, she could run for president someday.
Posted on: July 7, 2010 12:02 PM, by Ed Brayton
How absurd has RNC Chairman Michael Steele become? He's now become too stupid for Bill Kristol. Last week Steele made this astonishingly idiotic statement:
"Keep in mind again, federal candidates, [Afghanistan] was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in. ... It was the president who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan. Well, if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that you know that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed."
That was too absurd even for Bill Kristol:
You are, I know, a patriot. So I ask you to consider, over this July 4 weekend, doing an act of service for the country you love: Resign as chairman of the Republican party ...
Needless to say, the war in Afghanistan was not "a war of Obama's choosing." It has been prosecuted by the United States under Presidents Bush and Obama. Republicans have consistently supported the effort. Indeed, as the DNC Communications Director (of all people) has said, your statement "puts [you] at odds with about 100 percent of the Republican Party." And not on a trivial matter. At a time when Gen. Petraeus has just taken over command, when Republicans in Congress are pushing for a clean war funding resolution, when Republicans around the country are doing their best to rally their fellow citizens behind the mission, your comment is more than an embarrassment. It's an affront, both to the honor of the Republican party and to the commitment of the soldiers fighting to accomplish the mission they've been asked to take on by our elected leaders.
There are, of course, those who think we should pull out of Afghanistan, and they're certainly entitled to make their case. But one of them shouldn't be the chairman of the Republican party.
Steele's done. It's only a matter of time
Kevin Williamson at NRO has a delightful suggestion: Dump Michael Steele and name Sarah Palin as head of the RNC. And he appears to be serious.
This is a job for Sarah Palin. Palin would be a much better RNC chairman than presidential candidate or freelance kingmaker. She'd raise tons of money and help recruit good candidates, i.e., she'd excel at doing the things Steele should have been doing instead of appointing himself Republican pundit-at-large.
A Chairman Palin would help set the right tone for the Republican party without having to get herself entangled in the minutiae of policy-development, which has not been her forte. Sure, she'd be polarizing, but so is Barack Obama, and these are polarized times. And it's one thing to have a polarizing party chairman, another to have a polarizing candidate.
Look at this breaking wave off the shore of Alabama — it's beautiful and exotic.
If you've ever wanted to go swimming in the multi-colored discharge from a toxic chemicals plant, now you know where to plan your vacation.
I thought for the last couple of years that going to Padre Island in south Texas would be fun, lots of great birds and wildlife to photograph - looks like that might not be on the top vacation spots, at least in my lifetime.
Palin Humiliated by Bill O’Reilly. “What Would YOU Do?”
OK, Mudflatters… It’s been a little while since we’ve gone on a group foray into Palin World, but this one I couldn’t resist. This interview was quite something. The “naughty librarian” is nowhere in sight. Palin’s latest incarnation is more like the mean librarian. The one who slams a giant book on the table next to you when she catches you whispering. (Yes, I’m speaking from experience) Tight-lipped, jaw-clenched, death-stare librarian, complete with the Xtra Large helmet shaped bumpit.
Fair warning. You’ll find yourself cheering for Bill O’Reilly.
I meant to post this last night, but frankly after transcribing into the wee hours of the morning, the only reasonable course of action was to become unconscious for a long period of time. So here I am, fresh as a daisy with all my supplies. Too, also, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared for our little hike up Crazy Mountain… also.
Pretty bad when you have to cheer for Bill O'Reilly Even he can't stand the stupid anymore
Posted on: June 8, 2010 9:16 AM, by Ed Brayton
President Bush may have admitted to authorizing torture in a casual, glib manner in front of an audience in Grand Rapids last week, but the consequences of that admission are far more serious than he is possibly capable of understanding. Dan Froomkin of the Huffington Post spells out some of those consequences.
And he doesn't quote wild-eyed liberal academics or ACLU types, he quotes military officers with decades of experience in military intelligence.
Waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning, is "unequivocably torture", said retired Brigadier General David R. Irvine, a former strategic intelligence officer who taught prisoner of war interrogation and military law for 18 years.
"As a nation, we have historically prosecuted it as such, going back to the time of the Spanish-American War," Irvine said. "Moreover, it cannot be demonstrated that any use of waterboarding by U.S. personnel in recent years has saved a single American life."
Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," Bush told a Grand Rapids audience Wednesday, of the self-professed 9/11 mastermind. "I'd do it again to save lives."
But, Irvine said: "When he decided to do it the first time, he launched the nation down a disastrous road, and we will continue to pay dearly for the damage his decision has caused.
"We are seen by the rest of the world as having abandoned our commitment to international law. We have forfeited enormous amounts of moral leadership as the world's sole remaining superpower. And it puts American troops in greater danger -- and unnecessary danger."
James P. Cullen, a retired brigadier general in the United States Army Reserve Judge Advocate General's Corps, told HuffPost that the net effect of Bush's remarks -- and former Vice President Cheney's before him -- is "to establish a precedent where it will be permissible to our enemies to use waterboarding on our servicemen in future wars.
Cheney famously once agreed with an interviewer that "a dunk in the water" was "no-brainer" if it saves lives.
"This is not the last war we're going to fight," Cullen said. "Americans not yet born are going to be prisoners of war in those conflicts. And our enemies are going to be able to point back to President Bush and Vice President Cheney saying that waterboarding is OK.
"It's just shocking to me how he can be so flip about something that is so serious," Cullen said.
Matthew Alexander, the pseudonymous former Air Force interrogator and author of "How To Break A Terrorist" e-mailed HuffPost that Bush's statement "is de facto approval of the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of American soldiers in Iraq who were killed by foreign fighters that Al Qaida recruited based on the President's policy of torture and abuse of detainees.
"At least now we know where the blame for those soldiers' deaths squarely belongs. President Bush's decision broke with a military tradition dating back to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War and the consequences are clear: Al Qaida is stronger and our country is less safe."
But as is almost always the case with the right wing, they don't care about actual results. What matters is the very public and ostentatious pose of being tough. Projecting an image is what matters, not whether one's actions actually work.