Thursday, February 28, 2008

Priorities out of whack

Let's see what the main issue facing Congress is today. You might,naively, think it's health care, immigration, terrorism, the economy, or the war in Iraq. You would be wrong. The main priority of Congress is prosecuting Roger Clemens for steroid use and possible lying about it. Congress has suggested the Justice Department investigate Clemens' possible deception. Have we lost our minds, ladies and gentlemen? Is this worth one cent of the taxpayer's money? (That's not a rhetorical question; the answer is no). When Al-Qaeda surrenders, the borders are secure, the war in Iraq is over,and everyone can get health care then we can focus on the moral failings of Mr.Clemens.

This insane lack of priorities would be funny if it wasn't so dangerous. How many real criminals will not be investigated by the Justice Department because it is focusing on Roger Clemens' possible steroid use? The government's resources are limited. Go after the real criminals: terrorists, felons, et al. Give me a break from this steroid obsession.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No to ideologues

Although I am an atheist, I do not believe that the greatest danger to our country is religion. The greatest danger to our country is dogmatic ideology. What I mean by dogmatic ideology is simple: belief in things without evidence. I highly recommend James Burnham's book The Suicide of the West even though it was published years ago. In it, he defines ideology as the belief in something in spite of conflicting facts and evidence. He mentions several examples: anti-Semitism, segregationism, extreme paranoia about Communists in government (e.g. the John Birch Society), and a few others. Burnham points out that arguing with an ideologue is a waste of time because an ideologue will never change his mind no matter how much evidence contradicts his a priori view of the world.

Take global warming, for example. Is there any evidence that could convince Al Gore that global warming is not occurring, or Senator James Inhofe that it is? Of course not. Any contradicting evidence will be explained away. In fact, many advocates of global warming actually claim, with a straight face, that the extreme cold winter we are experiencing is more proof of global warming. They use the intellectually dishonest trick of renaming global warming "climate change" and claim that extreme cold weather confirms their theory. Of course, this is absolute nonsense. A theory of climate that is vindicated by any weather change is unfalsifiable and consequently bogus science. Global warming is false. The evidence shows that the world has not warmed since 1998. But its advocates don't accept defeat gracefully. They slander their opponents, falsely (and irrelevantly) accusing them of being bought off by the oil companies. A letter writer to the local paper has accused me of being "a dupe of the energy profiteers." This is a fairly typical ad hominem response. I'm not even surprised.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Ann Coulter's silly argument

Right-wing talking head and author Ann Coulter has declared she will vote for Hillary over McCain. She believes, sincerely, that Clinton is to McCain's right. (No, really). See here for video from Huffington Post. Of course, as you might assume, this is preposterous. It is demonstrably false. I took a quick look at the American Conservative Union's web site (www.conservative.org). They rate all Congressmen and Senators on a 0-100 scale. Let's look at their numbers:

For the year 2006:
McCain 65
Clinton 8
Lifetime rating:
McCain 82.3
Clinton 9

How can anyone seriously argue that Hillary is more conservative than McCain? You can't. Coulter has merely exercised her right to be thought a fool. Not surprisingly, she has previously written that evolution is a lie, pushed on a credulous public by atheistic biologists. Reality called, Ann. It misses you.

Also, see here the ratings from liberal website Americans for Democratic Action www.adaaction.org), for the year 2006:
McCain 15
Hillary 95

End of argument; case closed. Under no circumstances, should anyone--whatever their ideology-- trust anything Coulter has to say.