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'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, (original, huh?) airs on Tuesdays at 10:PM and Saturdays at 8:PM, Eastern time on RainbowRadio.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Conservapedia and the Conservative Brain

For those that aren't familiar, Conservapedia claims to be a kind of conservative balance to Wikipedia. Apparently they realize that they'll never win the argument on anything that is approached rationally and objectively, so they've set up their own repository (suppository?) of "knowledge." And yes, I'm sure the irony is lost on them that if you can't win a rational argument, then YOU'RE WRONG. But, like I've argued before that they evaluate evidence based on their ideology, rather than evaluate their ideology based on evidence and the mere existence of this site is practically the case in point.

Now, to be fair, this site is such a steaming pile of wet, runny dogshit that most conservatives are in fact embarrassed by it. They don't even try. They make less of an effort to appear like a legitimate encyclopedia that Fox does to appear like a legitimate News channel. It's bad. It's so bad, it's not even good for a laugh. They've gone beyond Coulter, and even beyond Colbert. If it were a liberal site SPOOFING conservatives, I'd say they went to far even for that purpose and the humor has been lost in it's heavy handedness.

But just for fun, I figured I'd dignify one of their entries with an objective, academic response. And I think I've found the perfect entry for this futile exercise:

LIBERAL

From Conservapedia:


A liberal (also leftist) is someone who rejects logical and biblical
standards, often for self-centered reasons. There are no coherent liberal
standards; often a liberal is merely someone who craves attention, and who uses
many words to say nothing. Liberalism began as a movement for individual
liberties, but today is increasingly statist,
and in Europe even socialistic.



Hoo-boy, where to begin?

A liberal (also leftist) - improper and unnecessary conflation of terms. (-1)
rejects logical and biblical standards - logical is matter of unsupported opinion (-1). There is nothing logical about the bible. (As implied here.) It contains both logical contradiction and implies statements of fact that have been disproven scientifically. (-1)
often for self-centered reasons - opinion, not supported. evidence? (-1)
There are no coherent liberal standards - evidence? (-0, for now, but remember this one!)
often a liberal is merely someone who craves attention - irrelevant. opinion, not supported. evidence? (-2)
who uses many words to say nothing - There is no sin worse than hypocrisy. (-1)

The last bit is almost accurate. We'll let it pass, despite lack of supporting evidence presented.


The long romance of Western leftists with some of the bloodiest regimes and
political movements in history is a story not told often enough...

A cute quote, and properly cited, but irrelevant to the definition of liberal. (-1)
Plus: There is no sin worse than hypocrisy. (-1)

A liberal generally supports many of the following political positions and
practices:

Wait... I thought...

There are no coherent liberal standards


I guess we'll have to deduct a point for each of these, two if they're false or misstated to boot...

  • Taxpayer-funded and/or legalized abortion (-1)
  • Censorship of teacher-lead prayer in classrooms and school sponsored events (-2)

and (-1) for being un-American and violating the first amendment and every parent's right to raise their child in the religion of their choice without gov't interference. (Asshole.)

But another (-1) for not recognizing that 'obscenity' is a matter of opinion, and the courts deciding what is and what isn't is tantamount to the gov't censoring speech.) (Asshole.)

  • Income redistribution, usually through progressive taxation. (-2: Progressive taxation has been around since the beginning of time and was endorsed by every Conservatives' favorite economist, Adam Smith, for very liberal sounding reasons!)
  • Government-rationed medical care, such as Universal Health Care (-2, for the 'Rationing' bullshit.)
  • Taxpayer-funded and government-controlled public education (-1: You bectha!)
  • The denial of inherent gender differences (-2: for 'inherent.' We don;'t reject 'inherent' differences, only the arbitrary, societal contrived ones.) (Asshole.)
  • Insisting that men and women have the same access to jobs in the military (-1, but it's close to a -2!)
  • Legalized same-sex marriage (-1: You betcha!)
  • Implementation of affirmative action (-2: Hey moron: it's already been implemented. I think the word you're looking got is "maintenance" or "keeping in place.") (Idiot.)
  • Political correctness (-3: Liberals hate this shit too. And -1 more for hypocrisy, because Conservatives practically invented this shit!)
  • Support of labor unions (-1: You betcha!)
  • Teaching acceptance of promiscuity through sexual "education" rather than teaching abstinence from sex.[3] (-3: This goes beyond misstatement. This borders on slandering teachers across the country as child molesters at worst, pornographers at best.)
  • A "living Constitution" that is reinterpreted as liberals prefer, rather than how it was intended (-3: the extra point for hypocrisy: WHO said 'it's just a damned piece of paper'? Plus, each judge has his own opinion about 'what was intended.' So this is saying nothing more than, 'They interpret it differently than we do' or 'they have a different agenda.' Whoop-de-frickin'-do. Not exactly a profound revelation, moron.)

So far they're down 9 points from the opening paragraph, 13 for calling out what 'a liberal generally supports' after declaring that 'there are no coherent liberal standards.' And 11 more for either misrepresenting the liberal position and/or adding hypocrisy to the mix. (So we're doing C+ work so far, and we're barely started!)

The then have several sections which do nothing to further define liberalism, but rather seek to defame it:

  • Liberals and Uncharitableness - citing studies that show that people of faith give more money per capita that atheists, even when Church giving is taken out of the equation. Now I can't comment on the study itself yet, though I'm going to look into. This section loses a point for declaring that this data is due to their "reject[ion of] biblical morality (and therefore conservative Christianity ) and hold to moral relativism" Their is so much wrong with this statement I don't even know where to start. (-1 for the unsupported assumption, -1 for the conflation of 'biblical morality' in a general sense with 'Conservative Christianity' and -1 for the whole 'moral relativism' thing. Liberals generally DON'T hold that philosophy. It's basically just a stupid smear that Conservatives use, as well as a word they don't really understand the meaning of anyway. So: -3
  • Liberals and Superstition - -1 for assuming that religion and it's attendant rituals, are necessarily different from superstition. -1 for the continued assertion that one can't be any manner of christian unless they're conservative.
  • Liberalism in North America today - -1 for the lie that the media tends to be liberal. I've presented my evidence. Where's yours? Talk about begging the question. (-1 for logical fallacy.) This section includes the statement:
Liberals claimed a monopoly on compassion, decency, and social
justice
(as defined by themselves), posing as the sole defenders of civic
virtue
against a horde of backwoodsmen, racists, and religious fanatics.

At first, I'm almost inclined to say, "Thank you," but he implies that this belief is not, in fact, the case. In any case, -1, because no liberals actually believe this, and -1 again for hypocrisy, since it's far closer to the delusion that conservative have about themselves. Just substitute the last five words with "secular humanists." (shudder)

  • Liberal Rankings of Congress Members - (-1) It basically accurate, but irrelevant, since they don't include the ranking, or even a link to it. (-1) Because the National Reviews ranking have been shown to be flawed, and are constructed to name whomever in on the Democratic ticket as the 'most liberal.' John Kerry in '04, Obama in '08. What, did Kerry move to the right or something?
  • Liberalism in Europe today (+1) for admitting that 'liberal' is sometimes used as a 'term of abuse.' (-1) for not adding 'by Conservatives.' (Asshole.)
  • Historical Liberalism - (-1) for "In the area of national security and foreign policy liberals in the U.S. failed to define a consistent stance, even after the events of 9/11 and the beginning of the war in Iraq." This is bullshit. We are all on board until Bush decides to go on that stupid, illegal boondoggle in Iraq. And to that we were ALL opposed. Another (-1) for "Liberals generally support affirmative action, gay marriage, and abortion." which continues to contradict "There are no coherent liberal standards."
  • Original meaning: Classical Liberalism - This section is fine. Go figure that it's the shortest section in the whole article!
  • Alternative meanings of 'liberal' - The first definition is basically crappy. The rest is fair enough. Again - very short section.
  • Liberal Organizations Some of these are questionable (How can the ACLU be called 'liberal' when they've defended religious groups and Conservatives?! This is a Conservative smear, and it's a stupid one.) But we'll let it pass. In general the organization mentioned are ones I'm happy to be affiliated with and support.

So how did they do?

The Opening paragraph and first section lost them 23 points, and the individual section lose them another 12, just with the very little [mis]information they provide. So they're down to a 65 (D work) just on deductions. And given the lack of depth and actual definition of the term, not to mention the complete and utter lack of objective and neutral voice, another 5 point deduction is well earned. And I'm deducting another -1, for the cartoon, which is not accurate and is completely devoid of wit.

59 - FAIL.

4 comments:

  1. When considering biblical standards, do they mean we can stone people? Or how about treating people unkindly in exchange for the free market system.

    I could have sworn I had read an article or something that basically showed the remarkable comparisons between Jesus and socialist institutions...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well... he fed the poor AND gave them free health care! At least according to the bible, he was also the first to preach to men and women, together, equally. He was also far more forgiving of the prostitutes than he was of the money-men and religious hypocrties.

    Sounds like a FLAMING liberal to me!

    (These religious / social conservative are sofe king stupid!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. He also never held a steady job, and he and his twelve guys shared everything, had no private property that we know of, crashed at freinds' places, and lived on hand-outs. Oh, and they had long hair. Sounds like Commie, pinko, subversive, hippie panhandlers to me.

    Eddie,

    You wrote elsewhere that you're optimistic. I am less so, and I'll tell you why. The last time the fault lines in the body politic were so deep, with people on either side of the divide holding conflicting core values and demonizing each other, was in the years leading up to the Civil War. I think that we on the left believe that, when we're accused of being "un-American", it is just hyperbolic pol-speak. It's not. It is a systematic, Orwellian way of dehumanizing us. As the country becomes more militaristic, we are more at risk. During the Civil War, the Progressive side, you might say, was better armed. That isn't the case now, as it's the right that equates guns with god and murder with morality.

    I've recommended "THE FAMILY; The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of Americn Power," by Jeff Sharlet, a number of times. I'd like to quote a couple of paragraphs, if you don't mind, from toward the end. If this is tedious or takes up too much space, feel free to delete it.

    Sharlet writes:

    "Most of us outside the influence of fundamentalism ask, when confronted with its burgeoning power, "What do these people want? What are they going to do?" But the more relevant question is, "What have they already done?" Consider the accomplishments of the movement, its populist and its elite branches combined: foreign policy on a near-constant footing of Manichean urgency for the last hundred years; "free markets" imprinted on the American mind s some sort of natural law; a manic-depressive sexuality that puzzles both prudes and libertines throughout the rest of the world; and a schizophrenic sense of democracy as founded on individual rights and yet indebted to a higher authority that trumps personal liberties.
    This, then, is what American fundamentalism understands democracy to mean, this is what it understands as "freedom of religion": the freedom to conform, to submit, to become one with the "biblical worldview," the "theocentric" parable, the story that swallows all others like a black hole. Within it time loops around, past becomes present, and the future is nothing but a matter of return. Not to the Garden but to the Mayflower, the Constitution, or Stonewall Jackson's last battle, moments of American purity, glimpses of the Camelot that haunts every nationalist imagination, fundamentalist or secular. History IS God's love, its meanings revealed to his key men, presidents and generals, preachers and a schlemiel with a shofar. As for the rest of us, were are simply not part of the dream. Fundamentalism is writing us out of history."

    We laugh at or underestimate these "superstitious jerks" at our peril, as Dr. Tellar learned.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Agreed in principal, and I know about The Family (though I haven't read it yet) but I'll still keep my optimism. Over long periods of time, every generation becomes less religious than the last. There are fluctations, of course, but the trend is inevitbale. (Think: Global-Warming-like.) Young people today are less religious, than their parents, and than the young people a generation ago. Atheism is becoming the new black and all of the fastest growing and youngest voting segments lean both Democratic and Liberal. I don't think anything like the civil wat is coming. I believe that change in America will be stable, gradual and inevitable - as it has been SINCE the civil war. Depite the best efforts of the magical thinkers, haters, bigots, whack-jobs, funny-mentalists, terrorists and social conservtives... PROGRESS KEEPS MARCHING ON.

    I'm inclined to believe that what we are seeing now is as likely the DEATH THROWS of Religion as a social and political force. If there IS any violence it will come from the RIGHT, and both the LAW, the Political Moderates and every other force that ever made this country what is was will finally be united against them.

    It's one of the paradoxes of political progress: As soon as you start to accomplish what you want, the rest of America instinctively pulls back.

    So I still believe that If things are gettign worse now, that it's a short term trend. The long term trend is always better, for EVERYONE execpt for those who would resist the inevitable change and progress.

    ReplyDelete