Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, August 10, 2009

So Much Fail, So Little Time

Via TPM and the AJC, this:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.
This is Homer Simpson-level stupid. "It's just like David and Goliath, only this time, David won!" or "Give me the number for 911!" That kind of thing.

Unfortunately, our current health care discourse is being driven by this kind of reasoning.


The Law Talking Guy said...

The people who make this argument are so stupid that I feel required to deliver Bell Curve's punchline:

Stephen Hawking lives in the U.K.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I have to point out that this is the Investor's Business Daily.

And they will get away with this.

Pombat said...

Is that seriously a quote?!!!

Apologies to those of you who aren't, but Americans are stupid!!!

It really freaks me out that your media can get away with saying stuff like that, especially about someone so famous - I assumed that everyone knew that he first got ill whilst studying for his PhD at Cambridge (first degree from Oxford of course) - he still lectures there for Pete's sake! And even if the general public didn't know, someone should be pointing those facts out, surely? Or the editors should be going "um, well, that's an outright lie, we can't publish that"...


Raised By Republicans said...

Apology NOT accepted Pombat.

When will you learn to distinguish between people based on their actions rather than their nationality?

I was all into this as a humorous thing and looking forward to some comic relief you go and ruin it by making this racist remark.

Pombat, you have complained that you get wrongly accused of being anti-American and then you make categorical remarks like this.

Raised By Republicans said...

But Bell Curve, he doesn't have an accent. His computer voice sounds so American. ;-)

The Law Talking Guy said...

Rupert Murdoch.

Pombat said...

Ah. It would appear that a "some" got lost in translation between my brain and my fingers - that comment was supposed to read "Apologies to those of you who aren't, but some Americans are stupid!!!". In hindsight, I'm wondering if "too many" would be better than "some", given that this kind of bald faced lie appears pretty commonplace in media "reporting" over there. Either way, my apologies for any offence caused by a comment I did not intend to make.

I shall now sit back and await an apology for the condescending crap I copped for it.

Oh, and LTG - don't know why you're mentioning Murdoch, but I can happily speak for a whole bunch of Aussies and say you can have him :-)

Spotted Handfish said...

RBR, I agree with your conclusion that Pombat's comment was inappropriate, but calling someone a racist -- if technically correct -- is a little heavy handed in response. Maybe think about the calm blue ocean for a few minutes before trying to inflame the situation.

LTG, unfortunately Australia no longer has claim over Rupert. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe he had to renounce former citizenships when he became a US citizen.

Raised By Republicans said...

Pombat and SH,

No apology will be forthcoming from me and I don't really need one from you. I'd prefer a change of mind/behavior to any kind of formal apology.

LTG, Murdoch transcends nationality. But Pombat and SH, I think his point is that Australia and the UK have no shortage of moronic tabloid journalists who engage in populist rabble rousing. In short, he was pointing out that "Americans are stupid" as a comment in this context is throwing rocks in glass houses.

As for how you should have said it, the point is that you instinctively expressed your views in terms that assume causality (or at least correlation) between nationality and intelligence. Perhaps you should have said, "Conservatives are stupid" or better yet "The people who wrote that are stupid." But no. Your first instinct was to say "....Americans are stupid." That's a racist remark. Try crossing out "Americans" and write in "Asians" or "Blacks" or "Scots" or any other group you don't normally think of yourself as disliking.

I understand that you are hurt by that assessment but I think the shoe fits.

To be clear. I never said "Pombat is a racist." I said that Pombat made racist remarks - and she did. I don't think that's patronizing. It's certainly not more patronizing than what Pombat said about us being a an exception to the rule of Americans being stupid.

To some up, I won't be apologizing. But neither will I be holding a grudge if Pombat changes the way she expresses herself in these contexts.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Rupert Murdoch acquired US citizenship as a business proposition, because only US Citizens were allowed to own TV stations in the 1980s. He was born and raised in Australia, married a Melbournian (sp?) for his first marriage, and had Australian children.

Sorry, you can't disown him. And any commentary about whether Americans or American journalists are by nature stupider than Australians may be easily refuted with that single example: Rupert Murdoch.

Jews are stupid. Some Jews are stupid. Not a great improvement, there. see why?

Anonymous said...

RBR and Pombat...I think I missed the thread in some of this anger, so forgive me if I speak out of line. RBR, I don't think Pombat's comment was an intentional or a racist remark, but simply a rather large error in her communication. However, I can clearly see why one could take it that a racist remark.

For some time now, as a county, we have been dumbed down. Reagan, Bush 42 and Bush 43, all made huge cuts in education funding. When the media was deregulated, network TV moved to the lowest common denominator with programming. Rupert Murdoch has simply filled a niche in the market for the inquiring is all tabloid bullshit and has no place in the mainstream, but here we are. It is bad of us to have allowed this to happen to our country...and clearly, our country's collective IQ has dropped severely over the last 30 years in my opinion. Also, Bush 42 had an additive that was put into baby formula was an additive that enhanced IQ and brain development in babies...we have been dumbed down by design and these stories and newspapers are serving that market niche....and it is a shame that we are so focused on the minority of thought in this country. At any rate, I think this is an example of the in-fighting of the Democratic party on health amongst folks who are like minded and should be able to share our respective differences with out attack or fear of judgment in order to get to even more understanding and common ground. I have been guilty of my outburst of anger on this blog as well...and I think anger is an appropriate emotion to let out, but hopefully, not at the expense of one another's sensibilities. I guess I am being Rodney king to all.


Raised By Republicans said...


Yes there is history here. Pombat has made a number of these kinds of categorical remarks about the moral, intellectual and political inferiority of "Americans" over the years on this blog.

The pattern usually goes as follows... Pombat makes some pejorative remark about "Americans" and gets called out for it. Then she or SH (her significant other) wax indignant about being wrongly accused.

I used the term "racist" intentionally because many anti-American comments get thrown around that fit a logical structure that would NEVER be tolerated when used in relation to any other group. The same people who so vehemently call for "cultural understanding" of communities where local authorities order women to be ritually beaten to death for being raped will easily and flippantly say "Americans are stupid" and expect people to just let it slide.

As for stupidity in America. I'm not going to say that there aren't some alarming trends towards anti-intellectualism in this country. But it is wrong to make categorical statements like the ones Pombat makes every so often on this blog. It's not an error or slip of the tongue, it is wrong headed in its essence.

Anonymous said...

Ah, got it..thanks. WW

Pombat said...

"Pombat has made a number of these kinds of categorical remarks about the moral, intellectual and political inferiority of "Americans" over the years on this blog."


I don't believe I have, so please, prove me wrong with examples.

As far as the comment in this thread went, I have already said that what I typed was not what I intended to type - life lesson for me is not to try and type comments quickly and distractedly at work without my boss seeing and then post them without previewing.

Your response was condescending and patronising - "When will you learn..." can't be described as anything but.

And if you want to chase down the "racist remarks" line of thinking - every single time you have called me anti-American, and there have been PLENTY of those occasions, has been an instance of racism on your part. My reasoning? Simple. On those occasions, I have been criticising something that's happening in the US, in the context of being on a blog that is primarily about the US. My critiques have been valid, and had they been made by an American, you would have had no problem with them. But because they were made by a non-American, it's apparently perfectly fine for you to call me anti-American. And this has even happened in instances where I've given examples of similar crappy ideas from other countries, including my countries!

FYI, I'm not 'hurt' by your racist assessment, so your 'understanding' is not necessary - I know I'm not, because I know that the comment that got published is not what I was saying. I am however pissed off at the condescension you apparently see yourself as qualified to dole out, and would appreciate a change of behaviour.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The Investor's Business Daily has now removed the offending comment. Stephen Hawking yesterday himself weighed in on this and said that he would not be alive but for the NHS.

Raised By Republicans said...

Well, Stephen Hawking is obviously a Communist. ;-)