Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Moonbats and wingnuts baffle me

I've long since given up trying to figure out how moonbats and wingnuts think. By "moonbat" I don't mean someone who has different political, social or economic views to those I hold, so long as they're rationally argued and thought through. I can agree to disagree with such a person, and usually have a stimulating, mutually respectful and enjoyable conversation, where both of us learn something from the other. By "moonbat" I mean far-out, way-left-of-center, ideologically blinkered idiots; and by "wingnut" I mean their intellectual cousins on the far-right-of-center. Extremists of any persuasion are weird. You can't have a rational discussion or debate with them.

Nevertheless, when I run across moonbattish or wingnuttish behavior, I still find myself shaking my head in disbelief. Three examples in the past couple of weeks have had this effect.

First, there's a fundamentalist pastor in Florida by the name of Terry Jones. He seems to be divorced from reality. He's long threatened to burn the Koran (the sacred book of Islam), ignoring numerous warnings (including one from General David Petraeus) that this would be harmful to US interests, and possibly put the lives of soldiers, aid workers and others at risk. He finally did as he'd threatened last month, staging a mock "trial" of the Koran at which it was "found guilty of what he described as crimes against humanity". Following his public incineration of the Koran, precisely as others had warned, rioting broke out in several parts of the world, most notably in Afghanistan, where protesters killed 12 aid workers. Nevertheless, according to USA Today, Jones denies any responsibility for the deaths.

Jones denied responsibility, and said Islam, not he or his church, must be held accountable for inciting the crowds to violence.

"The United States government and the United Nations itself must take immediate action," Jones said in a statement. "We must hold these countries and people accountable for what they have done as well as for any excuses they may use to promote their terrorist activities."

There's more at the link.

Let's see now. Jones was specifically and explicitly informed that if he did A, B would result. He did A, and B did, indeed, result . . . but now he denies any responsibility for B. If he had not done A, B would not have ensued. How is it possible that he can't see this? How is it even remotely feasible that someone can be so blind?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a definitive Wingnut.

Next, we have the doctors who circulated among protesting trades union members in Madison, Wisconsin during recent demonstrations there. They made no examinations of anyone, and did no diagnostic tests; yet they wrote out hundreds, if not thousands, of notes certifying that the person concerned was not at work because of some medical condition. (For actual examples, see here.) This was clearly a blatant and fraudulent breach of both medical ethics and the demonstrators' conditions of employment. Both the demonstrators and the doctors were lying in their teeth . . . and it's therefore not surprising to me that there will be consequences.

The state Department of Regulation and Licensing and the Medical Examining Board said Wednesday that they had opened investigations into eight individuals who allegedly wrote doctor excuse notes for protesters at the state Capitol during rallies in February.

Last month, the Department of Regulation and Licensing said it had identified 11 people who may have provided the medical excuses, and it asked them to submit information about their activities at the Capitol.

Three members of the Medical Examining Board reviewed the information and decided to open investigations on eight of the 11, according to a department news release.

The eight being investigated are all licensed physicians, department spokesman David Carlson said.

Investigations were not opened against three people because the panel concluded no violations had occurred, the news release says.

The 11 were identified by complaints to the department. Nine of those named are licensed physicians and two are unlicensed, the department said.

The investigations will include a more extensive fact-finding process to determine if any violations of law occurred, according to the news release.

At the conclusion of each investigation, recommendations will be made about whether disciplinary action should be pursued.

The state Department of Regulation and Licensing previously has said disciplinary action could include a reprimand, license limitations, suspension or revocation.

There's more at the link.

To me, this is logical, rational and entirely appropriate. If these doctors were caught lying in public, and disgracing their professional responsibilities, they should be held accountable for it. However, the Left has exploded in righteous (or should that be "lefteous"?) indignation, accusing Governor Scott Walker of "going after" these doctors. Wonkette sneers:

Doctors better think twice about helping out the proletariat in the future if they want to stay rich and drive their fancy cars. Medicine should never associate itself with socialism.

Don't they get it? Can't they understand that any deliberate public lie, and any abuse of an official position, merit investigation and punishment? I'd want that to happen to any doctor, of any political persuasion, who misused his or her position for any reason whatsoever. I don't believe for a moment that the Wisconsin state government's investigation is politically motivated. I'd hold the state government accountable if they didn't investigate! To think otherwise is so ridiculous that it's beyond stupidity . . . it's moonbattery, pure and simple.

Finally, two teachers were recently caught on tape, as the Washington Post reports.

Sarah Knopp, a Los Angeles teachers union leader (in the Tax the Rich shirt) and Megan Behrent a New York City teacher affiliated with the International Socialist Organization, explain how to push Marxism in the public school classroom.

More at the link, including a video clip of their explanation.

Unsurprisingly, voices on the Left are now outraged that these teachers' propaganda efforts have been exposed, and are calling it 'underhanded' and 'an attempt to silence progressive voices in education'. I don't see it that way at all. They spread a message that's regarded with contempt and derision by many (including myself); they were caught at it; and now those opposed to their message are calling them on it, publicly. That's the way it is - just as those on the progressive side do precisely and exactly the same thing to those trying to propagate messages and views with which they disagree, such as abstinence-based sex education, school vouchers, etc. Both sides have the absolute right to publicize what they're doing, and to publicize what their opponents are doing. That's called "freedom of speech". Why complain and get all bitter and twisted about it?

I don't know why I've wasted all this time writing about these cases . . . I guess it's just that I get so darn frustrated with idiots sometimes. Call this a catharsis post, if you like.



Rev. Paul said...

You go right ahead and vent, sir. We'll keep reading.

Keads said...

Go vent as Rev. Paul suggests. Your comments on education resound greatly to me. After 11 years as an Adjunct Instructor at the Community College I am resigning at the end of this semester. Many reasons, but I feel it is time to no longer be a player in this game. And it truly is one.

Matt said...

Peter, with all due respect I'm going to disagree with you in regards to the Reverend Jones. Would you have anyone in the US that is critical of Islam submit to a priori censorship just because the Islamic religious leaders threaten to riot?

I could start the whole slippery slope, reductio ad absurdum chain here, but I won't. In this particular instance, I think the moonbattery or wingnuttery is more on the part of the Islamic radicals.

Anonymous said...

Would you classify Salmund Rushdie as a wingnut, as well? Satanic Verses "caused" rioting and killings. Is Jyllands-Posten a wingnut newspaper? The cartoons they published "caused" rioting and killing. And of course, Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh simply got what they deserved. Ayaan Hirsi? Well, she should just shut up.

I think your theory is a bit weak.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Let's blame those doing the murdering, rather than people who say the murderers are evil.

Anonymous said...

I hate to pile on, but I also think those who commit murders are responsible for their own acts.

I would tend to take the opposite view that we should stop playing PC games with Islamic Fanatics who threaten violence everytime they perceive some insult. Our own media insults Christianity on a daily basis and Christians who get upset are dismissed as idiots or extremists yet the same media rolls over every time Islamic Fanatics cry foul.

I am close to the point of advocating that we should have a cartoon Muhammad burn at least one Koran every day on national TV until the fanatics learn what freedom of speech and freedom of religion really mean (or get tired of rioting). Those fanatics refuse to show the same respect for Christianity. I fail to see why I should grant them any respect at all.


Peter said...

With respect to the last four responders, I'm afraid you miss my point. I entirely agree with you that those who committed the murders are responsible for them. That's not the point at issue. The point is that Mr. Jones was repeatedly warned, both formally and informally, that if he did as he had promised, this sort of thing would result. He ignored the warnings; and the predicted consequences did, indeed, result. Therefore, he bears some portion of the blame for them.

It's precisely the same as if I bought my teenage son a high-powered sports car as his first vehicle. I'm sure my insurance agent, the local cops, EMS responders, etc. would all warn me, from the depths of their long and bitter experience, that this would be a foolish thing to do; that the odds of his hurting or killing himself and/or his passengers and/or other motorists and/or innocent bystanders were very high; and that he (and they) would be much safer if he were driving something less powerful and easier to control. If I ignored all their advice, and bought him a sports car, and he did, indeed, cause an accident and cripple or kill himself and others, I would not have directly caused the accident; but I would be indirectly responsible for it, as the facilitator and the person who created the circumstances for it to happen; and, as such, I would be responsible for it.

Pastor Jones is in precisely that position.

Anonymous said...

Wrongo, there ,Peter. By your reasoning NOBODY would ever be allowed to speak ill of the political system known as Islim. And that was the whole point of Jones little drama.

Peter said...

Anonymous at 8.48 a.m.: Again, sorry, you don't get it. If Pastor Jones had merely spoken about the evils of Islam, I doubt very much whether anything would have happened. I've done that myself, as have many readers.

Jones, however, went way beyond speaking. He proceeded to destroy a book which is (in the eyes of Islam) far more important than the Bible is to Christians. The Koran is seen as sacred in and of itself, a living message from God to humanity. Muslims react to its destruction far more vehemently (and, as we've seen, violently) than they do to mere speech against their faith.

I have no problem with pointing out the faults and flaws of any system or organization, Islam included. However, there are ways to do so that are not likely to cause the death of innocent persons. I support and encourage them . . . but not others.

perlhaqr said...

I'll take a slightly different tack.

If I buy a gun, and ammunition, and a thief breaks into my house and steals them, and then shoots someone else during a different robbery, am I partly to blame for that death? After all, if I hadn't bought the gun and ammo in the first place, the thief wouldn't have acquired them when he stole from me.

Even if Pastor Jones is partially to blame in the matter, his part is so utterly insignificant compared to those who rioted as to be nearly indistinguishable from zero.

There is nothing wrong with the man destroying property he has purchased, no matter what significance others place on the act. I refuse to condemn him for the actions of others, even if they felt he created a just provocation, even if they warned him ahead of time that they would throw a tantrum.

To head off the particular line of response: I understand what you're saying, I just firmly disagree with it.

Jenny said...

Pretty much....

.. yeah, what perlhaqr said.

LabRat said...

My own tack is that Jones is not responsible for murder, but he is responsible for being a grandstanding self-centered douchebag.

He knew exactly what would happen; that's why he did it. Using other peoples' violent lunacy to make your point is a valid political tactic (it boils down to what Martin Luther King was doing), but for as little gain as this it also winds up using other peoples' lives to gain attention to his own "righteousness".

Jerry said...

You sir, have my attention every time you write about politics. Your comments concerning your distrust of our representative in either house are what fuels my curiosity.

As for myself I am a conservative.

I also believe we the people must direct our representatives. Sadly I also have to recognize that I may not be part of the majority of those doing the directing.

As much as I’d like to burn a Koran publicly, or hang an Imam in effigy, I realize the results of those actions would not be the results I wanted. All I see of Islam is screaming temper tantrums.

Is there any action that will aid them in social growth? I would gladly participate if I knew what it is.

Peter said...

Perlhaqr, you asked:

"If I buy a gun, and ammunition, and a thief breaks into my house and steals them, and then shoots someone else during a different robbery, am I partly to blame for that death? After all, if I hadn't bought the gun and ammo in the first place, the thief wouldn't have acquired them when he stole from me."

Actually, if I bought a gun and ammunition, and didn't secure them against the possibility of casual theft or misuse,, and they were stolen and used to kill someone, I would hold myself partially responsible for that death - but that's a moral perspective, not a legal one. Others' mileage may differ, depending on their moral codes.

Jerry - if I can think of one, I'll let you know! So far, I've drawn a blank . . .

Jenny said...

Is there any action that will aid them in social growth? I would gladly participate if I knew what it is.

I'd say the first step is to hold them to the same moral standard as anyone else, and quit the hand-wringing over how they just couldn't help it if someone got them so mad they just had to act like brutish murdering animals.

I have little enough patience for the "she was askin' for it" defense to start with, and I'm plum out when it comes to misogynistic theocratic Islamic supremacist bastards killing people that don't respect the prophet enough for their taste.

No excuses. No "understanding."
If you're a murderous thug, you're a murderous thug.


Makin' my home in dar al Harb, and don't intent to move.

SewerDweller said...

Hi Peter!

I'd like to take exception to your arguement that Terry Jones is somehow morally liable for the actions of the muslim community, after he had his little ego-fest, and burned a Koran.

In regards to your kids-n-sports cars analogy,

Using that logic, you or me shooting up our neighbor's house because we disagree with Obama's actions is perfectly acceptable. Nevermind burning a holy book, he's done us real, measurable harm! Riot Time!

Even assuming burning a koran is an act that makes violent retribution morally acceptable, Attacking and killing unrelated people is not.