May 14th, 2007

Apollo 4 on column of fire

Thom Hartmann is wrong

Thom Hartmann says on Air America Radio that Iraqi resistance is shooting at Americans because the Iraqi resistance don’t have jobs. Thom Hartmann must be coming to this conclusion by close inspection of his own navel. No, wait, that can’t be, because whether Thom Hartmann picked up arms against an occupation-of-the-US-for-no-good-reason surely would not depend on whether or not Thom Hartmann had a job. So he must simply be making up a factoid for one of his nerdly exhortations about economic theories.

And the funny thing is that his exhortation probably is, on the whole, correct. So why make up factoids? And he is not the only one making up broken theories of the causes of terrorism and (para)military resistance.

This is not hard. Iraqis kill Americans because Americans occupy Iraq and kill Iraqis. They’ll quit shooting Americans if the Americans are gone. It’s a very simple message: Go home, and we’ll stop killing you; if you stay, then we will kill you. (What’s more, as long as you stay, we will try to stop you from providing jobs for people, because we do not want your unjust occupation to ‘succeed’.)

Update: Thom Hartmann also quotes Alfred Korzybski one day (that a ‘map’ is not the ‘territory’ it represents) and on another day says (essentially) that he thinks ‘consciousness’ is a sub-atomic particle. Which perhaps indicates that Hartmann has read Roger Penrose’s stupid books, but certainly indicates ignorance of what AK was talking about in the quote.

I wish it were still Al Franken in this time slot. Al was very funny, but also his ignorance was simple ignorance, not nerdly ignorance; if Al Franken thought that a resistance was made of people without jobs, it would simply be an error, not an over-reaching nerdly exhortation. The next time Hartmann says ‘Jefferson’ or ‘Madison’ I’m going to blow scrub my brains out.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Jon Elliot fails to remember

Okay, now Air America Radio’s Jon Elliot is saying that terrorists and/or resistance members are people what ain’t got no job, and that if they had a job to do they would put down their arms.

What makes this special compared to when Thom Hartmann spoke similarly, earlier today, is that a few months ago an actual researcher on terrorism, as a guest of Jon Elliot, debunked the myth, and Elliot expressed how astonished he was to learn it was a myth. Well, he couldn’t have been all that astonished if he forgot—if it were me, I’d have made a special effort to remember (as indeed I did, and a few years earlier when the topic was broached in Science and/or Nature).

There seems to be a myth among liberals (by no means all of them) that terrorism and resistance to occupation are advanced forms of mugging and house burglary.
Barry moustachio

Taggy quotes game

Go to The Quotations Page and choose five
quotes that describe where you mentally are. Then tag 5 people everyone …

1. I have only one superstition. I touch all the bases when I hit a home run.
Babe Ruth (1895 - 1948)

2. Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 AD - 180 AD), Meditations, 200 A.D.

3. Do not trust all men, but trust men of worth; the former course is silly, the latter a mark of prudence.
Democritus (460 BC - 370 BC)

4. Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

5. When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

The encore quote:

6. We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.
Richard Dawkins (1941 - ), "The Root of All Evil", UK Channel 4, 2006

Well, that’s six quotes, and four of them are humorous; the other two are by ancients. Draw from that whatever conclusion you prefer.

Update: Hmm, and five of them are by people who died before I was born, and the other person is married to Lalla Ward.