What I miss about the old atheism–even though I still find its central premises wobbly and unconvincing–is that thinking was permitted. The conversation continued. There was no infallible source of confidence. Skepticism reigned.
The new atheism is a catechism of conclusions reached, positions taken, dogmas pronounced. It is more like the Catholicism I giggled to see parodied, a church too sure of itself and its exclusive ability to save souls and reveal the kingdom.
“So what’s really motivating the G.O.P. attack on the Fed? Mr. Bernanke and his colleagues were clearly caught by surprise, but the budget expert Stan Collender predicted it all. Back in August, he warned Mr. Bernanke that ‘with Republican policy makers seeing economic hardship as the path to election glory,’ they would be ‘opposed to any actions taken by the Federal Reserve that would make the economy better.’ In short, their real fear is not that Fed actions will be harmful, it is that they might succeed.
Hence the axis of depression. No doubt some of Mr. Bernanke’s critics are motivated by sincere intellectual conviction, but the core reason for the attack on the Fed is self-interest, pure and simple. China and Germany want America to stay uncompetitive; Republicans want the economy to stay weak as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House.”
I long suspected this when I saw the GOP opposing its own policies when they came from a Democrat in the White House. They know that opposition to Obama is more about high unemployment than support for the GOP. It’s party before country which is all pretty disgusting until I realized that the real blame lies with us, the fools. We are the ones who should laugh in Mike Pence’s face when he suggests that The Fed should focus only on stabilizing prices against the law that created it amidst the worst unemployment we’ve seen in decades. To quote the Federal Reserve Act, the purpose of The Fed “to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.” Nope. Instead, all too many of us cheer and then blame the Obama Administration for high unemployment!
“That’s a conundrum, isn’t it?” asked Jodine White, 62, of Rocklin, Calif. “I don’t know what to say. Maybe I don’t want smaller government. I guess I want smaller government and my Social Security.” She added, “I didn’t look at it from the perspective of losing things I need. I think I’ve changed my mind.”
“Microsoft has more to contend with than computers running other operating systems. People have begun to use such gadgets as the iPhone as tiny mobile computers.
But Ballmer scorns the idea that smart phones could unseat PCs as the technology of choice for on-the-go consumers.
‘Let’s face it, the Internet was designed for the PC. The Internet is not designed for the iPhone,’ Ballmer said. ‘That’s why they’ve got 75,000 applications — they’re all trying to make the Internet look decent on the iPhone.'”
“‘We’ve been working to take an economy that was in bad shape and get it moving and growing again; take our national defense and make it first-rate again after a long period of decline; and to restore reason, respect and reality to our foreign policy,’ the president says. ‘And I think it’s fair to say that we’ve made a good deal of progress.’
You [Constant Reader] were also right about [Obama] trying to indoctrinate the children of America into his cult of personality. Listen to this: ‘We want to make your future better, because tomorrow belongs to you. And since you’re the leaders of tomorrow, I wanted to talk to all of you as a friend about the things you’ll have to do to ensure a prosperous nation and a peaceful world.’
So in conclusion, it’s clear that President Obama – wait a second. This isn’t President Obama. It was President Ronald Reagan, back in 1986.“
“This is just part of the hurricane of idiocy the administration must struggle through if it is to pass health-care reform. Don’t get me wrong – there are some very good reasons to remain optimistic about the odds of reform succeeding. On the other hand, if in our national debate you always bet that the side offering the most dim-witted, disingenuous arguments will triumph, most of the time you’ll be right.”
A friend of mine observing the current debate threw up his hands and simply said that the American people were, to put it bluntly, stupid. That made me uncomfortable, because I don’t like to think people in general are in fact, stupid. But if these arguments hold sway, it’s hard to argue against that. Fear and prejudice almost certainly produce that result.
And just so those conservatives who read this try to hide behind the tired cliché of liberal smugness, please remember the definition of stupid: “lacking in intelligence and common sense.” These “arguments” employ both deficits.
UPDATE: This is a perfect example of when ideology trumps thinking. These folk are protesting, sometimes with amazing vitriol, that a Democratic president did not change a tax law written by a Republican controlled Congress and signed by a Republican president. Absolutely perfect.
UPDATE #2: With Faux News unable to report real news, it simply makes it (up).
Jon Stewart, as usual, nails it.