Monday, December 28, 2015

Tea Partiers Are Stupid; The Problem Is They Don’t Know It

Okay, let’s not mince words. Right wingers are just dumb. They live in a fact-less world, where made-up stuff flies everywhere. They get their information from FOX, Limbaugh, Beck and other dolts. We on the left know this, but we can’t convince the right of it because the right will not be persuaded by facts, statistics, logic, or science. In other words, the Republican base is adamantly ignorant, proudly so, and proudly unaware of it. This phenomenon has a name—the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Acknowledgment of this phenomenon comes from an article posted by M.E. Miller on Daily Kos. He writes, “The Dunning-Kruger effect comes out of research conducted by David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University since 1999. Over the years, Dunning and Kruger have conducted studies over a wide range of cognitive tasks. Following the skill assessment, subjects are shown their results, and then asked to rate their performance on a percentile basis. What they have found is that those performing well — say, 65th %ile and higher — exhibit a quite accurate assessment of where they placed, while those who do more poorly are unaware of their own poor performance. In fact, those who do quite badly, say at the 15th %ile, tend to overestimate their relative skill by 50% or more.

"A way to summarize these results is to say that those who are truly stupid are too stupid to realize that they are stupid. As Dunning has put it, slightly less colorfully:
If you're incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.… [T]he skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.

"This explains quite a lot about our world, especially about the limitations on our ability to propagate a reality-based worldview. It explains nearly the whole phenomenon of Fox News and its viewers.”

As Forrest Gump once said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Friday, December 4, 2015

Senate Republicans Vote To Arm ISIL, Ravage The Middle Class, Make The Rich Richer, And Deprive Millions Of Access To Health Care

The U.S. Senate, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers and the National Rifle Association, made a stand for violence, poverty and sickness in America the other day. That’s right, in the wake of another gun-violence bloodbath, Republicans searched their souls, hearts, and collective conscience…and, realizing, they had none of those things, voted to make all Americans (except the very wealthy) more susceptible to death and financial ruin.

The timing of the Senate vote is, well, cruel to say the least. At a moment when the blood of San Bernardino victims is not yet dry, Republicans refused to restrict gun access for those on the national terror watch list. Think about this for a moment. Right-wing politicians are okay with arming known radical Muslims, even though these same politicians regularly complain that Obama is doing nothing to stop known radical Muslims. Does it not occur to right-wingers that disarming terrorists might be a good first step to stopping home-grown terrorist attacks? As Hillary Clinton so eloquently stated, “If suspected terrorists are too dangerous to allow on planes, they should not be able to own guns.”

But when did Republicans ever let logic, sensibility, and compassion creep into their world view? Their brand is stupidity. Their priority is ignorance. Their values are warped. They are more concerned with pleasing their NRA overlords than they are with keeping guns out of the hands of ISIL.

San Bernardino will bring new howls about mental illness being the source of violence, but this claim has no basis. According to Joshua Holland, a writer for The Nation magazine, “We don’t yet know what set off this latest bloodbath, but we know a lot about gun violence in America. We know that our mental-health care system is indeed broken. But the gun lobby’s ubiquitous claims that fixing it will address the scourge of gun violence are merely a distraction from the real issue. Epidemiological studies show that the vast majority of the mentally ill aren’t violent. They tend to kill themselves at a disproportionate rate. Duke University psychiatrist Jeffrey Swanson told Health Day that people suffering from those kinds of mental-health problems are responsible for only 4 percent of the gun violence in America. Ultimately, talking about mental illness obscures the real problem: We’re awash in firearms and refuse to take the steps needed to keep them out of the wrong hands. Perhaps the most frightening thing we know about gun violence comes from a study conducted by researchers at Duke, Harvard, and Columbia that was published earlier this year in the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law. It found that almost one in 10 Americans who have access to guns are also prone to impulsive outbursts of rage. Among this group are almost 4 million people who carry their guns around in public and say they ‘have tantrums or angry outbursts,’ ‘get so angry [that they] break or smash things’ and lose their temper and ‘get into physical fights.’ The researchers also found that those who own many firearms are significantly more likely to exhibit signs of uncontrollable anger than people who own just one. The authors of the study noted that very few among that group had been diagnosed with the kinds of mental illness that would be unearthed in a standard background check. They say that we need to start restricting gun ownership based on whether people have a history of violence, not on diagnosed mental illness.”

God save us from angry, impulsive, gun-toting Americans…because the Republicans never will.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

That Lying Witch Fiorina Now Has Blood On Her Hands

Domestic terrorist Robert Dear revealed his true motives for shooting up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last week when he uttered, “no more baby parts.” Where could he have gotten the absurd notion that this clinic was involved in selling baby parts? Only one place I know of…the black hole of lies called Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina, if you don’t know (and I’m sorry I do), is a right-wing witch’s brew of hateful disinformation, who sputters the most outrageous things from her filthy hole in a desperate attempt to raise her poll numbers from the non-existent to the barely visible. In this abhorrent season of sociopathic Republican debates, where one idiot tries to outlie the other, Fiorina is the token female prevaricator, and she wants her whoppers to stand out. In one debate she shrilly screamed about a Planned Parenthood videotape showed babies being harvested for their body parts. No such video exists; Carly the Witch made it up.

A harmless lie, some may say. But not when dangerous right-wing psychopaths, like Dear, hear it and believe it. Murdered citizens is what you get. Republicans have claimed Dear was not politically motivated, but his ex-wife divulged the truth. Dear, she said, “…has targeted the reproductive health organization before.” In an interview with NBC News, Barbara Mescher Michaux said Robert Dear put glue in the locks of another Planned Parenthood clinic when they were married more than 20 years ago. She characterized him in an affidavit she filed to divorce him in 1993 and in her Tuesday interview as a violent, isolated man. “For him to plan this and go there, he meant to go there," she said. "There is no doubt in my mind. He is very right wing."

No word on whether Robert watched the Republican debates. But it’s a good bet that he got his information from Carly. She has staked out the “anti-PP baby parts” platform, and now she has to own it. Republicans must realize that when they spout hatred and lies that they are fueling the lunatic fringe to act out. Nuts with guns are their most rabid constituents. Domestic terrorists are aching for a reason, even a false one, to compensate for inadequacies by shooting someone. Their white-hot anger needs only someone to light the match.

Unfortunately, Fiorina is devoid of any conscience or compassion. She has distanced herself from the shootings and any blame for the bloodshed. Now I wish she would distance herself from us. Please mount your broomstick and fly away, Carly. Or perhaps someone can just throw a bucket of water on her?