I Think; Therefore, I am Not a Republican

Bush wins the stupid vote.

Those 59 million people are going to vote again this year!

By studying the North American fundie, we can gain insight into John McCain’s Paris Hilton ad and why Obama will lose the election.

ParrotLover and Sue Blue bring up a good point in the comments to “Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ!”. To parrot Parrot:

The “Obama is the debil” people fault Obama for his intelligence….

Sue Blue says:

If there’s one thing Bush accomplished, it was the empowerment of stupid people. Hey, if a moron can make it to the top Office in the country, it must be GOOD to be ignorant! It seems these people have made it a point of pride to proclaim their complete cluelessness at every opportunity. The logical extension of this is their suspicion of the educated and intelligent….

This is an important point that I think is being overlooked by most pundits in the current election. A sizable minority of the Republican party is pro-stupid.

In my article on Fundie Atheists, I tried to identify the characteristics of a fundie. My list was:

A fundamentalist has these core characteristics:

  1. Rabid adherence to and faith in a rigid dogma
  2. Inflexibility
  3. Intolerance
  4. Illogic
  5. Anti-intellectualism

It was my contention that a fundie has all five characteristics. Look at #5: “Anti-intellectualism”. I think that’s an important characteristic, yet I don’t see it in most people’s descriptions of fundamentalism.

Now here’s where it gets relevant to politics. Not all conservatives are Christians. Not all Christians are fundamentalists. In fact, not all fundamentalists are fundies (so my list above is actually mis-labeled). The Amish are clearly fundamentalists, but they keep to themselves and aren’t trying to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. They are non-fundie fundamentalists.

I contend that you need all five characteristics to be a fundie. However, many people who aren’t fundies have some of those characteristics. I would argue that anybody who has some (definitely three; maybe as few as two?) is very likely to be a conservative. Which characteristics any given conservative has is going vary from person to person. Certainly conservatives in general are going to have other characteristics that aren’t on this list. I’m not trying to over-generalize here. All I am saying is that many conservatives share some fundie characteristics.

Here’s how it hurts Obama. Some percentage of Republicans are anti-intellectual. One of the hallmarks of conservative dogma is an oversimplification of issues and a belief that simple solutions will work on complex problems. (Deregulation anybody? Privatization anyone?) This oversimplification appeals to (among others) the anti-intellectual faction of the Republican party.

Many of the proponents of these over-simplified approaches are not anti-intellectuals themselves. Quite the contrary. Many are brilliant and highly-educated. They just have a philosophical belief in how things ought to work that colors their thinking. However, the solutions they propose also happen to appeal to the anti-intellectuals in the Republican party, because those people are unwilling or incapable of thinking complex thoughts.

This is how you can have a large portion of the Republican party falling for all of the anti-Obama crap that the McCain people are putting out.

36 Responses to “I Think; Therefore, I am Not a Republican”

  1. Lindsay Says:

    Very interesting blog today. Lots of conservatives saw Bush and thought “hey, he’s a guy like me” and voted for him (my scope of experience with this is growing up in Nebraska at this time). Kerry was some “east coast Ivy League typel”…and they would say this without thinking that hey, wasn’t Dubya technically a east coast Ivy leaguer.

    Personally, I want someone who is smarter than me to be president. I don’t really care if we have the same taste in books, sports and what not, but as long as they do a good job I am happy.

    Anyways, I think the McCain Paris Hilton ad really just preaches to the choir. Same with Obama ads…I tend to think that most peoples minds are made up at this time unless some sort of major scandal breaks out in one camp or the other.

  2. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Although I concede that the stupid voting for stupid is a major problem in this country, I refuse to believe it reflects a majority opinion as much as the Republicans claim (and hope).

    Maybe I’m looking through my own rose-colored glasses here, but I don’t think Bush won in 2004 because people wanted to have a beer with him (the sister voting bloc of the stupid voting bloc). Sure, those people existed, but the only evidence that they were in any way people who might have voted for Kerry but decided Bush was less elitist is television, radio, and newspaper pundits. There is NO data, NO statistics, NO studies, NOTHING to suggest they actually existed at all. Does that mean some intrepid reporter couldn’t dredge up some bumpkin to spit out an ignorant one-liner on the teevee? No, but it neither makes them the massive groundswell voting bloc that Kerry couldn’t “connect to.”

    You see, the fundies will never vote for a librul anyway because they are pro-choice and pro-gun-control. That is just a fact. Even if they wanted to have a beer with Obama, do you really think that would override the built-in desire to vote pro-birth and pro-gun? I don’t think so. These are the same people who think Obama is the antichrist, which is what sparked this discussion initially.

    Kerry’s biggest problem (which is sadly also Obama’s biggest problem) was the media. He was attacked endlessly for stupid things (OMG he wore a clean-suit and looks like a teletubby) and out-right lies (he wasn’t a war hero, he just stubbed his toe). Now what are we hearing about Obama? OMG he’s such an elitist. OMG he can’t connect with middle class white voters. OMG he’s flip flopping on things he’s not flip flopping on.

    Nevermind that polls show Obama with like 12% lead over McCain among middle class whites. Nevermind that 15% more would rather have a beer with him. Nevermind that he was RIGHT about Iraq. It’s the Rovian Talking Point and it MUST be talked about, no matter HOW UNTRUE until it BECOMES TRUE!

    And how does this help anybody get health care, get jobs, or help the economy? Thanks, Corporate Media Giants, for keeping the electorate ignorant.

    So it is my contention that no matter how annoying the I’m With Stupid voting bloc is, the more important issue with the electorate is the media promoting ignorance through lousy reporting. When given truthful and insightful information and not stupid talking points, people make wiser decisions. In addition, if people can actually get information on what the candidates are for instead of what they look like or how they were misquoted behind closed doors, it will help reduce apathy. Make no mistake, voter apathy is the friend of conservatives. Throughout history, the larger the voter turnout, the more likely the ebil libruls will take over the country.

  3. Lindsay Says:

    Voter apathy is a huge problem. I think the whole “lapel pin” issue was the pinnacle of media stupidity.

    So what is the theory on why the quality of reporting has gone down? Is it because we live in an age where we have shorter attention spans…therefore soundbites and simplistic issues appeal more to the masses?

  4. Brian Says:

    I agree with PL about the media. With few exceptions, the media has given John McCain a free pass, overlooking his myriad gaffs (sunni/shia – what’s the diff?, gas tax holiday, the new GI Bill, taxes, Phil Gramm, gorilla rape, off-shore drilling, and the list goes on and on…) that seem to get lost in the 24-hour news cycle which has become less about news and more about ratings. Overall, I do not think the narrative of this election has changed fundamentally. It’s still Obama’s presidency to lose. But its easy to not see that forest for all of the surrounding trees. When most of the media spends more than five minutes covering McCains’s Obama/Britney/Paris ad, it has officially jumped the shark.

    I make it a habit to get my news from at least 4 or 5 different sources each day. It then becomes easier to spot a bias in one of them that way. I’ve heard a lot about “low-information voters”, which seems to be the polite term for the people Ron wrote about. I agree that they will be a factor in this election, but I don’t see them carrying McCain to the White House. Without touching on politics, most of the people I talk to each day really are worried about gas prices, health care and keeping their homes. And yes, some of these people will vote for McCain, even though his positions on these issues are not in their best interests, simply because they won’t take the time to fucking pay attention. They’ll look at the ballot, see the “R” next to McCain’s name, and think that’s all they need to know. But are there enough of them?

    I’m actually predicting something of the reverse of what Ron is positing. Once the numbers have been crunched on Election Night, I won’t be surprised to hear the pundits talk about how much of traditional Republican support Obama managed to sway to win the election, particularly evangelicals, who are the last people I would normally expect to see the light of reason. The fact is, whether I like it or not, Obama is trying hard to win a sizable portion of that group over. It makes for smart politics, given the political realities of today, but I won’t deny that it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t expect them to support him in droves, but I think he has a chance of winning just enough of them to neutralize their value to Republicans. Also, the gorilla in the room that no one is really talking about (except in a bad McCain joke) is Iraq, about which Obama has been right all along. A stunning majority of Americans want us out of there. I can’t see that not playing a role in November.

    That said, I agree completely about the anti-intellectualism that is rampant in our country. I blame religion for that, since ignorance has known no greater champion in our history. We’re an overly pious nation, so it’s easy for a dreadfully large number of our citizens to become inured to the harmful effects of faith, whether it be to a god or to a politician. Is it enough for McCain to win? We’ll see.

  5. Oze McCallum Says:

    To be honest, your chracterizations can be applied to the most extreme liberals too.

    To wit:

    A fundamentalist has these core characteristics:

    Rabid adherence to and faith in a rigid dogma

    Think anthropomophic global warming (yes, it seems to be getting a little warmer, but more than likely due to normal vatiations). The rich don’t pay their “fair share” (only that the top 50% pay 95% of taxes).

    Inflexibility

    There can’t possibly be any good to come out of the planet actually getting warmer, can there? Like, maybe, longer growing seasons? Feeding more people?

    Intolerance

    Just look at the recent parade in San Francisco where the lesbian activist *spits* on a veteran. What also about the Fairness Doctrine and the concept of free speech?

    Illogic

    Releasing 700 million barrels of oil from the Strategic reserves will cause the price of gas to come down, but drilling for more oil won’t. Conservatives want to destroy the planet that we all have to live on.

    Anti-intellectualism

    Colleges have speech codes, and conservative speakers are routinely shouted down, protested, and dis-invited, or the groups inviting them lose their funding.

    So, it works on both sides of the spectrum.

  6. Lindsay Says:

    Oze McCallum, no doubt you make a very valid point (I was thinking the same thing myself reading the fundie descriptions). As Ron stated himself he made up the fundie list on an article about Fundie Atheists.

    The people on this blog are almost exclusively of the intellectual sort that does question anything and everything. As the Ron and many of the other commenters lean liberal of course we would first criticize the conservatives (who from my point of view seem to have very many more vocal fundies than liberals).

    As for the global warming issue you mention in the rabid adherence to dogma, both “fundie” sides have always exhausted me in that debate. I really wish that someone would just say “how about we recycle and conserve resources because it is in the best interest of us all and generations to be to preserve a finite amount of resources we have.” It might be a long shot but it could get some fundies to at least practice sustainable living by taking out the scientific equation.

  7. Lindsay Says:

    I just wanted to clarify one thing…the Fundie Atheists article is about how it is counterintuitive and unlikely that fundementalists exist in the atheist community. Not all liberals are atheists just as not all atheists are liberal (though I would likely consider them solely in the “fiscal conservative camp”).

  8. LadyRavana Says:

    Interesting, thought provoking article here.

    PL brought up an excellent point that the Rethugs used redirection. As he said, rather than actually sitting down and talking intelligently and insightfully about issues, it focuses on stupid things. “OMGZ! Obama wears a flag pin! His middle name is Hussein! He’s brown! He’s elitist! He’s smart, and therefore DANGEROUS! He uses big words I can’t understand! He makes my brain go hurty!”

    I’ve always maintained that the Republicans keep the truth from leaking out, and rather than having the public make informed decisions, they try to keep people as ignorant as possible. The more ignorant and ill-informed the masses are, the easier they are to control.

    Drat, PL put it so much better than I did. XD

  9. Parrotlover77 Says:

    So what is the theory on why the quality of reporting has gone down? Is it because we live in an age where we have shorter attention spans…therefore soundbites and simplistic issues appeal more to the masses?

    I believe it is media consolidation. The fewer the organizations that control the information, the less diversity in information is available. Additionally, it makes it easier for the organizations to slant issues that favor themselves and not the consumers.

    And, of course, the organizations in question are transnational mega-corporations that have more humans rights than actual humans.

  10. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Also, the gorilla in the room that no one is really talking about (except in a bad McCain joke) is Iraq, about which Obama has been right all along. A stunning majority of Americans want us out of there. I can’t see that not playing a role in November.

    I’m with you but I worry about what I quoted above. The latest media narrative straight from the McCain Campaign Headquarters is that McCain was “right about the surge” and Obama was wrong. Nevermind that Obama was right about the war from the start. Nevermind that there really is no actual proof the so-called “surge” did anything beneficial (with a million dead Iraqis, maybe there is just nobody left to fight the Americans). Nevermind that we are still above the number of troops PRE-SURGE. Nevermind that the Sunni/Shia relations have not really improved in the Iraqi government. Never fucking mind ANY of that. Violence is down (slightly) after the surge went into effect. Ipso facto, McCain is right about everything. Your “liberal” media at work.

    I can’t blame most low-information voters for believing it either. The news is supposed to be believable. If the news says the surge worked, then for Pete’s sake it must have worked!

    There is a big difference between ignorance and stupidity. I believe there is a lot of voter ignorance in the USA. Stupidity is there too, but I think it’s mostly just left to the fundies and Republican True Believers™. Ignorance can be fixed. But as long as we let Big Oil, Rupert Murdoch, and Wal-Mart buy our politicians and media outlets, it will be exceedingly difficult to fix.

    This election is our chance.

  11. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Releasing 700 million barrels of oil from the Strategic reserves will cause the price of gas to come down, but drilling for more oil won’t. Conservatives want to destroy the planet that we all have to live on.

    You bring up a good point until you start silliness like this. Nobody is saying drilling wouldn’t bring down oil prices. It’s just that the type of drilling proposed is not as effective as other measures. I have never heard anybody say it will have zero effect.

    1. Oil companies are sitting on massive land plots for drilling, but they are not drilling. Their excuse? Not enough refineries or drilling equipment. How, exactly, is opening up ANWR or the coasts going to help that? Shouldn’t we be demanding more refineries and equipment instead?

    2. Oil companies want land because it helps their oil speculation prospects. More land-worth without actual drilling drives costs up on the deregulated market where oil is a futures market instead of a supply market.

    If you can effectively refute those claims, I’m open to that argument. However, the “DRILL NOW LOWER PRICES” argument is absolute nonsense made by the oil companies. And for the record, releasing the strategic reserve is also a dumbass idea. It will help prices over a very short period of time, but I doubt it’s any better than the gas tax holiday at doing that. The only real benefit I can see of it is that it will help subsidize the declining gas tax revenue since the government will actually be selling the oil back to the oil companies (albeit at a reduced cost). Certainly there are liberals using this argument for political gain, and I disagree with them entirely. Personally, I want an energy grid and vehicle that do not use fossil fuels at all.

    As for your extreme liberal inflexibility issues, the key is what you mean by inflexibility. I am an extreme liberal on the political spectrum. And I call BS on that. I don’t automatically think extremely conservative people are fundies. They just have different values, but they may openly accept change when presented with new evidence, which is the core aspect (in my opinion) of NOT being a fundie. Same for us libruls.

    If I saw evidence that supported that a warmer Earth would be better for life on the planet (outweighing potential drawbacks), I wouldn’t care about global warming. In fact, I’d welcome having warmer seasons further north. However, there is no evidence that this is the case. For example, I’d love to see an actual study on longer growing seasons being a benefit (as you cited). I have never seen anything of the sort. Is that just speculation? I’m sure there are “fundie liberals” out there but I haven’t seen anybody at this site that doesn’t exhibit the key element to non-fundie behavior: the ability to change your mind when presented with new evidence.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    As for the global warming issue you mention in the rabid adherence to dogma, both “fundie” sides have always exhausted me in that debate. I really wish that someone would just say “how about we recycle and conserve resources because it is in the best interest of us all and generations to be to preserve a finite amount of resources we have.” It might be a long shot but it could get some fundies to at least practice sustainable living by taking out the scientific equation.

    I’ve gotten a few conservatives to call me the “first smart moonbat they’ve seen” when I suggested that the efforts to help global warming align 100% with the efforts to reduce smog, so we should have cleaner cars and factories so we can just breathe in the cities, completely ignoring the global warming aspect. Who likes smog?

    It’s a great way to win over conservative support over an issue that is so much broader than just global warming. I may be concerned most about global warming, but smog, mercury in the waterways, chemical run-off — that stuff cuts through all politics. Nobody likes polution. It’s just that many people (returning to my post a few above this one) are ignorant of what’s going on because the media doesn’t report it.

    That’s one of the sad things about what has happened to the global warming issue. Ad hominem attacks on Al Gore and non-scientific “doubt” have surfaced to diminish the real problem and real solutions. Sound a bit like the Evolution versus ID debate? It should. It’s the same tactics.

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’ve always maintained that the Republicans keep the truth from leaking out, and rather than having the public make informed decisions, they try to keep people as ignorant as possible. The more ignorant and ill-informed the masses are, the easier they are to control.

    Drat, PL put it so much better than I did. XD

    Oh, I dunno, LR, that paragraph summarizes everything I said in two sentences! Me like!

  14. Oze McCallum Says:

    Well, I agree with the idea of the type of drilling, although I do think that if the land that is currently open for drilling by the oil companies had sustainable, profitable, recoverable oil under it, they would already be drilling there. Part of the problem is that so much of the land that the government has let them have for drilling doesn’t have that sort of oil under it. I would argue that we go where the oil is, not where we would like it to be.

    I have made the argument to my friends and family, and my congress critters, that we need a lot more refining capacity. To have not built one in over 30 years is, in my view, despicable. In addition to that, I would also not have so many different grades of gasoline for different areas of the country. It makes no sense for a refinery to have to shut down and re-configure equipment to make a different grade.

    I don’t necessarily think that releasing the strategic reserve is a good idea. I was using it to make a point. And I so think we should be trying to develop as much alternative technologies as we can. That said, the country as it stands today runs on oil. Until such time as those new technologies come online and are actually producing, we will be using oil. So, why not use it more efficiently (think higher gas mileages, less demand in the economy i.e. telecommuting, and more public transportation), and at the same time, go get more of it?

    As far as the fundies go, I was merely pointing out that it happens on both sides. Luckily for the rest of us, it seems that a lot of them are in the periphery, at least the more extreme ones.

    I did see an article about the benefits of having a longer growing season, I can’t remember where. I’ll try to find it. Might have been in the Week Magazine.

  15. LadyRavana Says:

    Not all liberals are atheists just as not all atheists are liberal (though I would likely consider them solely in the “fiscal conservative camp”).

    Lindsay, I consider the fiscal conservatives the Republicans that AREN’T batshit insane.

    There’s one thing I can say for sure. While the government has been pretty restrictive with our rights, what with chipping them away and all, they’d been rather liberal in one area: our money! :p

  16. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Well, I agree with the idea of the type of drilling, although I do think that if the land that is currently open for drilling by the oil companies had sustainable, profitable, recoverable oil under it, they would already be drilling there. Part of the problem is that so much of the land that the government has let them have for drilling doesn’t have that sort of oil under it. I would argue that we go where the oil is, not where we would like it to be.

    If there is no oil and no prospect for oil, why are they paying for leases? They could just, you know, not pay for leases and save some money. So let’s pretend there IS no oil there — at all! Then that means that the futures market of oil is — drum roll — corrupt! Either way you slice it, there’s something fishy going on. The oil companies want to have their cake and eat it too. Well, guess what? Either the land is crap and speculating futures on that land is fraud OR the land is good and you need to get your damn drills out there and drill!

    It makes no sense for a refinery to have to shut down and re-configure equipment to make a different grade.

    I agree whole-heartedly with most of the rest of your post and this in particular. There should be two grades: El Cheapo and My-Car-Has-A-Big-Dick Octane.

  17. Sue Blue Says:

    There’s another group of voters that don’t quite fit the stupid mold. They’re the people that have voted Republican all their lives, and – no matter how disappointed they are in Bush, how red-faced they are over all the scandals, how much they grit their teeth over McCain’s floundering – will NEVER EVER EVER BE CAUGHT DEAD voting Democrat. They’re mostly elderly voters who can’t give up the idea that the Republican Party still represents Abraham Lincoln’s values.

    Sad.

  18. Jesse Says:

    I missed the other thread and most of this one, but it just struck me how much this statement:

    If there’s one thing Bush accomplished, it was the empowerment of stupid people. Hey, if a moron can make it to the top Office in the country, it must be GOOD to be ignorant! It seems these people have made it a point of pride to proclaim their complete cluelessness at every opportunity.

    Is an extension of the movie Forrest Gump. I’m actually kind of not kidding here.

  19. S. Says:

    Repubs are cowards,who don’t mind showing it,either.every time an election comes up,they start getting testy that a Dem might beat the crap out of their cowardly party,so they start up w. those stupid political email jokes and put-downs.GROW UP REPUBS.none of them ever even bother to ask what MY personal views are…they either just ASSUME, or rather…DON’T CARE IF THEY OFFEND and send them anyway! The rest are just dumb enough to think that all white,middle class,upstanding ppl are repubs.NOT SO.The ones that aren’t are the ones who actually have brains that they use!

    How can anyone be dumb enough to vote republican? at least they make it easy…I just vote straight Dem every time.No need to do anything further.repubs are retards!

  20. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Cool. Obama chimes in on this very issue…

    Now two points, one, they know they’re lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they’re making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

    Emphasis added. h/t Atrios.

  21. Barbara Says:

    Forrest Gump was a kind and loving innocent, quite different to the guy in charge now. There is nothing kind, loving or innocent about pure evil.

    I’m cringing at the “retards” comment. The mentally challenged/disabled community has a medical excuse for limited function. The Republicans don’t. I’d hate to see an IQ requirement for voting, but it might be interesting to see what would happen if, say, an IQ of 80 plus was required…

  22. Ron Britton Says:

    I’d hate to see an IQ requirement for voting, but it might be interesting to see what would happen if, say, an IQ of 80 plus was required

    Just for voting or also serving? And would it be retroactive?

  23. Barbara Says:

    Voting, serving, reporting, blogging, speaking aloud about any political issue. You’d have to carry a special ID.

  24. Bunkie Says:

    Wonderful… You take a test to make sure your ID is high enough for “Voting, serving, reporting, blogging, speaking aloud about any political issue”. Good idea. That will make it easier to be targeted. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to carry a special ID that indicated what my IQ was or even that it was over a certain number.

    It’s bad enough with all the information people can already access (legally and illegally) without adding that to the mix. And it WILL be used for something other than the intended use. And who would design the tests? Those things can be slanted where you and I might actually fall below the line. Then where would we be?

  25. Barbara Says:

    Yeah, I was serious. Totally.

  26. Jesse Says:

    Forrest Gump was a kind and loving innocent, quite different to the guy in charge now. There is nothing kind, loving or innocent about pure evil.

    I didn’t mean to imply that Bush = Gump (although that is an amusing thought). I was reacting to the movie on a whole and how it beats you over the head with the notion that “hey, it’s okay if you don’t know anything, you’re still going to accomplish everything you want in life” and just how much Sue Blue’s observation reminded me of that movie. In fact, the movie goes further than that, every character in the movie that does know something has something horrible happen to them. They get maimed, diseased, killed, etc. Being smart and educated in Forrest Gump was as much of a death sentence as a female character who has sex in an 80s action movie.

  27. Barbara Says:

    Smart guys never die in real life, unless someone is ancy to end the anthrax investigation.

    Okay, I get the Forrest Gump thing now.

    The idea of gentle idiot as president makes me want to watch “Being There” again.

  28. Ron Britton Says:

    Not quite Gump:

    Forrest Bush

  29. LadyRavana Says:

    Okay…I gotta ask. I know this is probably stupid, and is obvious to every else, but what’s the deal with fundies being anti-intellectualism? I’ve even heard that they have a hostility against adult literacy. Surely they want people to be able to read the Good Book?

    But then, I think I can answer my own question: it’s because smart, educated people are harder to fool and control. The more stupid and ignorant you are, the easier you are to lead, program, and brainwash.

  30. Parrotlover77 Says:

    LR – You did answer your own question, but I wanted to add that for a long, long time, the peasants had an extra barrier to the bible other than just simply needing to read: the bible was not translated into their native languages for an extremely long time. When those you are controlling can’t even read the source material, it gives you an edge to make up whatever crazy thing you want.

  31. LadyRavana Says:

    Interesting, PL. I didn’t know that. It definitely makes sense.

    When those you are controlling can’t even read the source material, it gives you an edge to make up whatever crazy thing you want.

    Of course, the Republicans have applied this same philosophy ever since the Reagan administration. Only, it’s keep the truth out of the hands of the general public, and make up any crazy thing you want that suits your agenda.

  32. Jesse Says:

    But then, I think I can answer my own question: it’s because smart, educated people are harder to fool and control. The more stupid and ignorant you are, the easier you are to lead, program, and brainwash.

    Yes, that is the answer. As ParrotLover points out, this was easier before widespread literacy and translation (a.ka. the invention of the printing press). Interestingly, the RCC institutionalized many of the techniques for control employed by organized religions, but today they seem to at least have found some level of stability in their relationship with science. Even the pope has said that creationism is absurd.

    Anyway, yes, one of the tenets of intellectualism and the scientific method is to question assertions and authority and that terrifies religious authorities since their claim to authority is based on made up stories.

  33. Sue Blue Says:

    I think we have to make the distinction between those who are actually mentally disabled a la Forrest Gump, and people who are ignorant, willingly or not. It’s the willingly ignorant that I’m talking about – those people who, because they couldn’t quite make the grade and are resentful, or because their social environment encouraged subservience, blind obedience, and conformity, refuse to educate themselves. Education and open-mindedness of any kind scares them. It might upset their little apple-cart, no matter how impoverished, closeted, and inbred that applecart may be. And, as LadyR pointed out above, they are all the easier to lead because of their ignorance. It’s no wonder the ignorant, as a group, appeal to control-freaks like the religious right and the repubs.

  34. Oze McCallum Says:

    If there is no oil and no prospect for oil, why are they paying for leases? They could just, you know, not pay for leases and save some money. So let’s pretend there IS no oil there — at all! Then that means that the futures market of oil is — drum roll — corrupt! Either way you slice it, there’s something fishy going on. The oil companies want to have their cake and eat it too. Well, guess what? Either the land is crap and speculating futures on that land is fraud OR the land is good and you need to get your damn drills out there and drill!

    You know, I wondered about this every since I read your comment, and I heard the former CEO of Shell talking the other day, and he indicated that the way the leases work is that the government puts them up for lottery and then, of course the highest bidder wins.

    The leases are then set for a specified number of years; he indicated usually at least 5, but many times for 10. Now, this gives the company the authority to use their own equipment to go lookling for the oil, i.e. drill test wells, do seismic studies, that sort of thing. But, and here’s the rub, even if they don’t find any oil, they still have to pay the leases! Smooth racket the government has going, if you ask me.

    Tell these companies “Sure, you can pay us money to look for oil on our land, but if you don’t find any, you’ll still be paying us for the next 10 years!”

    Anyway, he also indicated that, as far as he knew, that every well that could produce oil was doing so.

    Just thought I would share what I heard.

  35. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Although if what he is saying is true my comment would require some modification, but it still does not address this glaring point: “So let’s pretend there IS no oil there — at all! Then that means that the futures market of oil is — drum roll — corrupt!”

    Also, a lease is defined by a long term engagement where you pay over time. It’s hardly a racket on the government’s part. Have you ever leased a car? Leased an apartment? The government is leasing a massive amount of land where the oil companies pay very little for per acre. There’s a chance jack-shit is there, but if oil IS there, the oil companies make money hand over fist. The fact that the government doesn’t let them break the lease is not a racket — it’s sound “business” on the government’s part. Without the government taking some money in from the process, it’s just “giving away” land that you or I would have to actually pay for. The lease saves oil companies money because they do not have the repsonsibility to OWN it (which would be extremely expensive when you factor in property taxes).

    However, as I stated above, if the land is crap, why are futures being speculated on it?!

    Additionally, Exxon told the government in one of those many, many oversight meetings that they did not have enough equipment to drill more. Well, if that’s true, how is leasing ANWR going to solve that?

    The oil companies CANNOT have it both ways!

  36. S. Says:

    sure,but I only mean repubs are retards in a slang sense,like creatard is.of course their real problem,is,for starters,arrogance,and thinking they have the right to run over other ppl (because,after all,they think they’re right,and everyone else is wrong!),lie and do whatever they want,as long as they do it in the name of God.