A couple days back PZ posted a comment on something new called Conservapedia, which is a right-wing religious answer to Wikipedia and, like every other thing in their bizarro world, it essentially exposes them as the charlatans they are.
To be sure, Wikipedia has its problems. Sometimes the posts aren’t entirely accurate, and in some cases it’s clear that the wiki’s editors are more interested in ego stroking than promoting facts — but then, this is the case with all branches of academia and human endeavor. Lampooned in the likes of Mad magazine, Wikipedia is far from being a nest of inaccuracies and nonsense; it’s actually a well-honed and fairly well-done repository of human knowledge of an absolutely stunning variety, from the minute arcana of ancient history to the breathless fascination with modern pop culture.
Enter, then, Conservapedia, which illustrates just how thoroughly the Einsatzgruppen-ÜberKristians have co-opted the moniker conservative. True conservatives are remarkably like scientists in that they want to rely on evidence rather than faith to reach conclusions, they aren’t ready to embrace the latest fad just to keep up, and they prefer to keep government the hell out of everyone’s lives.
The conservative movement in the US today is about as far from these ideals as it’s possible to be.
But the polar opposite of conservatism is not liberalism — after all, both ideologies have at their core a strong value placed on the worth of human lives and the value of reducing human suffering; rather, antimatter to conservatives appears to be ramping up debt and expense in the name of fomenting more war and, as much as possible, eliminating reality-based teaching, filling the heads of children and adults with the most utterly false bullshit conceivable.
In his post, Myers makes an interesting observation.
I look forward to seeing devious examples of the conservative position being delicately exposed as inane. You can’t find a better example than their tirade against the biases in Wikipedia, which I suspect was written by a sincere conservative, but reads like something out of The Onion.
What he’s suggesting here is that extreme statements are indistinguishable from parody — that is, if one of the Einsatzgruppen-ÜberKristians declares that Earth was created in six days and another person stands and shouts, “and it’s also flat!”, there is no way to be certain whether the second person was joking or not. This is because of the overall outrageousness of all the attitudes held by the Einsatzgruppen-ÜberKristians — and it’s a lucid truth deliciously exploited regularly by Stephen Colbert.
In short, everything they say is nutty, so it’s just not possible to tell if any one statement is meant to be taken seriously or not.
The problem is that this is true of extremist liberals every bit as much as it is of extremist conservatives, and sadly enough it was another comment on Pharyngula that led me to this conclusion.
It seems that as part of their training, law enforcement officials are put into mock situations where they have to show accurate and instant judgment. While the link referenced from Myers’s site is not available to me I gather the exercise in question involved a raid wherein some civilian types wore even numbers and others had odd numbers. Even numbers were good; the odd numbers were perps.
Included in the exercise (which was played out with paintball guns) was a dog with an odd number on it, and the dog repeatedly got shot by the “raiding party”.
Offered with this was a link to a page discussing some of the more sadistic behaviors of SWAT and other law enforcement agencies, along with this comment from PZ:
Fascist scumbags. In anything other than a police state, you’d expect the law enforcers to be held to the highest possible standards of conduct; in the US, the police with the biggest guns are unrestrained by ordinary decency. Slaughtering family pets is what I’d expect of a psychopath.
I respect Myers. I like a lot of the things he has to say. But I really have to disagree with the tone here. While it’s undeniable that sadism in law enforcement exists, while it’s certain that some people and animals are needlessly wounded or killed — and while it’s inarguable that this is terrible — I think it’s stepping over the line to suggest that cops and their kind are essentially all mini-Nazis or playground bullies grown up and given badges.
What PZ and many of his respondents seemed to overlook was a salient truth that criminals who have dogs will often have trained them to attack, and will rely on the animals to go for the throats of the cops who are raiding their drug houses. In some cities it is illegal for a felon to have a dog for precisely the same reason he cannot have a firearm: He’s far too likely to use it as a weapon in an attack on other people.
Cops can be sadistic, but let’s try to remember that it’s criminals who cause crime, and when in the course of the commission of their crimes they seek to do harm eiither to cops or bystanders, they must be controlled.
In keeping with the concerns about parody I think I should point out some of the responses to PZ’s post. I can’t tell, frankly, if they’re sincere — or meant to satirize how liberals are perceived as being by wingnuts. Here’s one example.
My politics can only be described as progressive, and I am for the most part a complete pacifist, but one thing I do believe about America is that as long as the police continue to carry guns every US citizen should have the right to defned themselves against them, using lethal force if necessary.
I can’t understand how in one breath anyone can claim to be a pacifist — and then go on to advocate killing fellow human beings, particularly those who are simply doing their jobs. (Necessary jobs, too: When your home is being burglarized, do you call the police or the fucking paramedics?)
One of the things that liberals are supposed to pride themselves on is a lack of bigotry or prejudice; we’re not supposed to be as willing as others to assume the worst of someone. Yet in the following comment there is evidence which suggests that if you scratch a liberal, you get a bigot.
The US forces in Iraq like to shoot dogs that are just hanging out on the side of the road (video evidence on youtube). Also, after Katrina various police forces went around shooting dogs for the hell of it. Does dog-hating come with the uniform and the badge?
The quote didn’t come with any supporting attribution, so the YouTube evidence is, for all practical purposes, nonexistent; and I don’t seem to recall hearing of any post-Katrina cops “shooting dogs for the hell of it”. If they were in fact shooting some dogs, likely it was to prevent them from turning into hunting packs and eating weakened and defenseless humans. I profoundly doubt it was a goddamned party.
Sadly many of the comments seem to range in this direction (though, to be fair, there’s a lot of remonstration going on as well); while there’s no way at all to form an opinion of the liberal mindset from comments on any given article, if even some of these statements are representative of what’s happening in the minds of extreme liberals, I’d submit there’s very little recognizable difference between them and the Einsatzgruppen-ÜberKristians who have so completely corrupted conservatism. Simply substitute “terrorist” for “cop” and you’ll see what I mean.
But the most disturbing post I left for last.
“Copkiller” is derisive, when it should be a term of respect, even admiration.
If this is liberalism I’ll happily turn in my card. I’d much rather do without any labels anyway — and I will not run with psychopaths.
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.