The View From 1776
Obama Enlists Scientific Fraud To Further Socialistic World Government
The president manifestly is an ignoramus with regard to economics, as evidenced by his deficit-spending stimulus programs and other economic interventions that have produced the longest major recession and debauching the dollar since FDR’s Great Depression in the 1930s.
He suffers the same deficiency regarding science.
- He's not an ignoramus, but an exploiter of voter fears, pandering to red-herrings, all just to divert voters from the real problems, and gain support for his policies.
Posted by bill greene on 02/06 at 07:38 PM
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Were I to earnestly preach the world is flat when it is manifestly round, you would be justified in judging me a fool or a liar. If the former, it must be I am speaking from outdated information (and, therefore, ignorant of newer, better information) else simply delusional. If the latter (of my first division), it may also be that I believe the falsehood; in which case I am both ignoramus and liar (though, not necessarily a fool). Otherwise, I am simply a scoundrel willing to say anything as cheats the unwary.
You apparently regard Obama as belonging to the second class of my first division (i.e., pure fraud); but what is to say he is not both fraud AND ignoramus. If, in addition to the lies he often hazards, he also believes those lies in whole or part, then he qualifies as both. This begs the question: What qualifies someone as a true ‘ignoramus’?
Merriam-Webster defines ignoramus as “an utterly ignorant person, a dunce”, so the proposition Obama is an ‘ignoramus’ depends, in large part, on the depth of his ignorance. As Thomas points out, he has shown a near total ignorance of economics, government-stimulated enterprise (i.e., why it doesn’t work), and climate-science. One year ago, Ed Klein of The American Spectator nailed it when he wrote: “Obama has made a habit of coming across like a man who doesn't know what he's talking about. That's bothersome enough, but what’s more worrisome is how comfortable he is with not knowing what he’s talking about; and how convinced he seems that his rhetorical flourishes … obscure his ignorance. ” We can add to the growing list of things of which Obama is significantly ignorant the following: empathy for others, healthcare, foreign policy, diplomacy, negotiation, regulatory limits, identifying enemies (or allies), Constitutionality and ‘separation of powers’, picking competent and appropriate subordinates, budgeting (personal and household as well as governmental), disaster management, jobs creation, leadership, the art of persuasion, masking the obvious disdain, the gay and feminist agendas, gun-control, teaching, taking responsibility, keeping national secrets, building a better army, military operations, military-preparedness, effective-governance, and the American people. About the only things for which he has demonstrated some competence are rabble-rousing, electioneering, ‘bill-jacking’ and playing golf. Ergo, whereas Obama may not be a total ignoramus in every field of human endeavor, he is sufficiently ignorant of broad areas of competence relevant to the position he now holds and is, at least in his role of leader of most powerful nation on Earth, a quantifiably qualified ignoramus.
Have you never encountered folks with a strong opinion on every topic despite they are clearly clueless regarding subject matter, and do they not project an ‘authority of subject matter’ regardless of subject matter ignorance (at least until embarrassed)? Often these are people of greater than average intelligence, but also large egos and typically slothfully uninformed, mal-informed, and undeterred by the depth of their ignorance from venturing wobbly opinions; who then defend such opinions as if unassailable. Would you not agree our President shows strong evidence of this behavior?
There is one further subclass of liar/ignoramus to consider, and that is the ‘demagogic-ideologue’ for whom truth is ‘relative’ and evidence and proofs are malleable things to be exploited (when supportive), else discarded and/or discredited (when not). To the demagogic-ideologue, only those truths which support or can be made to support biases matter; and all intellect, however impressive, will be strained to that end. It does not matter to the demagogue you disprove or disapprove his economic fallacies because he does not care one whit about economics; only for personal/political gain and for the openings ‘something-for-nothing’ propositions provide for persuading fools they should entrust our whole economic being to their tender care. The same is true of environmentalism, entitlements, identity-politics, government-supplied healthcare, and every other fantasy proposition statists foist on us. It is unimportant these are valid, minimally-valid, or flat out asinine. It does not even matter they are morally repugnant. They are only important to the extent they provide an opportunity for usurpation. Liars instinctively know and recognize the logical weaknesses of their own propositions, yet such is the conceit they convince themselves as much as others theirs have greater merit than reality simply because reality has little potential for exploitation; whereas lying, especially lying as fans a common fear, has enormous potential.
There is a further qualification I can add to the last: the liar who believes his own lies has deniability. That is, he can claim he ‘honestly’ thought or felt or was misinformed regarding an untruth. It may seem pathetic he goes right on believing the inconvenient falsehood in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and will defend an indefensible beyond all reason; but human nature is such that, having staked out a bad position, we often defend it anyway rather than admit to poor judgment, and in the expectation conviction can (and often does) overwhelm commonsense through sheer ‘audacity’. That provides the liar with a motivation and a model for persisting in a lie, especially those liars with fragile egos as cannot admit to having the worst of it (i.e., most liars). This, over time, transforms the incidental liar into a practiced liar who chooses to be ‘willfully ignorant’ (aka, ignoramuses) regarding a great deal of reality. You can even say of them, they are ‘wedded to un-reality’ in ways that seem baffling to more honest folk.
Liars are people little enamored of truth because truth serves only to embarrass them. Therefore, the consummate liar becomes not merely lazily indifferent to truth, but positively hostile to it; and goes to extraordinary lengths convincing himself (as much as others) that the lies he tells are pure gospel. None are more convinced of a lie than the dispenser of it. The evolution of a liar is from intellectually-lazy to outright dishonesty and manipulation. The more intelligent the liar, the better the quality of the lies; but are lies all the same and just as susceptible to exposure. The indifferent student is lazy and willing to absorb mush than to challenge bad ideas. This willingness to accept nonsense has no bearing on his intelligence or capacity to learn. It’s just garbage in, garbage out. Once habituated to and comfortable with garbage and with lying, the student cum liar ceases to learn new ideas (especially such ideas as challenge the dogma of which he’s become enamored). If the lies have proved useful to him personally (e.g., blame avoidance, college diploma & honors, high position for which not really competent, the admiration of fellow liars, &c), dissuasion of the falsehood becomes that much harder. The transition from intelligent ignoramus to demagogic scoundrel is made complete on giving rein to his own favored lies and fantasies in such a way as gives him power over others. Too often, we view this last stage as a kind of ‘cunning genius’, and give it undeserved respect. And, it is this which causes us to disbelieve he can be both genius and ignoramus. This is as true at the nosy social-worker level as the POTUS level. After a certain point, love of power dominates such that there can be no going back, and the lies justifying ‘authority’ must be strenuously defended and multiplied; one atop another, each serving to patch a gaping hole in the pile below.
There exists widespread misperception that just because someone is intelligent that he is also wise, perceptive, and (at least) intellectually-honest. Obviously, there are intelligent people enough that are (also) foolish, slow to yield to better evidence, and fraudulent as give the lie to such a weak assumption. I think my point is made that, whereas being a liar does not necessarily make you also ignorant, habitual indifference to truth leads inexorably to ignorance as the commonest method of postponing judgment; or, putting this another way, ignorance (feigned or real) serves to shield liars from the consequences of their lying; though not indefinitely.
- Very nice analysis, Bob. You had me with "scoundrel!"
BTW, I wrote a whole book about why high intelligence, as commonly defined today, is, outside the physical sciences, a negative attribute, and brands many so identified as both dangerous, intellectually dishonest, and given to abstract notions that do great harm. The highly conceptual mind is prone to frequent vague utopian error.
However, in all our analysis, we must remember that Obama merely reads and delivers eloquently phrased malarkey off teleprompters. It is his handlers behind the scenes who pull the strings and compose the message--all while their amoral apppointees from Wall Street run the Treasury Department as they themselves wish.Posted by bill greene on 02/19 at 03:07 PM
Thank you for the positive feedback. Your observation regarding high IQ and a tendency toward intellectually-dishonesty is not without merit. I have known some highly intelligent people to hold and defend disprovable positions; and I have long observed the battle of wits between opposing intellectuals, only half of whom can have the truth of it. If half are right yet both hold obstinately to a particular version of reality, then (at least) one side must be wrong and intriguing against reason. My further observation is that the side that constructs an elaborate and labyrinthine defense of his position is more often the guilty (of lying, sophistry, artifice … call it what you will) party. There is a further possibility that both sides are wrong and making things up with which to hurl at the other; in which case, good luck finding the truth.
I respectfully disagree, however, that Obama ‘merely’ reads from a teleprompter. He may feel insecure without it, but he has spoken to some subject matter effectively without it on several occasions and under ideal conditions (e.g., as when preaching to the socialist choir). He may use speechwriters and prompters to avoid fumbling the way our VP often does, and he certainly depends on them for good scripts, but the message is mostly (if not all) his own. Yes, there are certain Wall Street actors who have his ear (Buffet, Soros, Goldman-Sachs), but he has become increasingly independent of them, and they are not always overjoyed with him (see http://sweetness-light.com/archive/obama-snubbed-by-wall-street-democrats ). Even Harry Reid supporter Steve Wynn expressed deep unhappiness with Obama last year before Obama stretched himself to mend fences (see http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700165187/Business-leaders-unhappy-with-Obama-policies.html?pg=all ). You are right there are some who are telling him what to say and manage to damp the socialist rhetoric, but there are others, like Jarrett, who fan the tone-deaf ideologue in him; and, overall, he's too headstrong and enamored of himself to listen to any but his own voice.
- Bob, I agree that he himself holds most of the socialist/collectivist philosophy that he spouts, but the detailed arguments in his speeches, whether on global warming, stimulus spending, redistribution, making the top 1% pay their fair share, etc., are crafted for proper political/marketing spin to attract and hold onto his voter base.
Thus any logic or facts presented in his speech have been massaged to please his base and support his various objectives. Thus those comments are those of a demagogue, and that is why perhaps both of us object to the "ignoramus" label. "Fanatic" might be a better description because he does actually believe his twisted notions about how a nation's economy works and he holds those notions fervently and regardless of any logic, historical evidence, or simple common sense. And, as a fanatic, he does not hesitate to twist the facts or evidence-- because the end justifies the means, which is not "lying" in the mind of a fanatic.
But I still have a visceral attraction to your choice of "scoundrel!"Posted by bill greene on 02/20 at 07:51 AM
- You have a point his more detailed and concise speeches are ghostwritten, but even Reagan, who was at his best when speaking extemporaneously, used speech-writers (like Peggy Noonan) to hone delivery. In fact, every President since Hoover has employed writers to enhance and refine speeches because a) being an effective President leaves little time to write speeches and b) because people expect more craft from a Presidential speech than the occasional gaffes common to lesser politicians. Effective speechwriting, like effective writing, is a far more time consuming process than most people allow. Anyone with an IQ north of 100 can cobble together a speech, but crafting a speech that persuades others (many of whom are skeptical) takes a lot of thought, sweat and revision.
What marks Obama’s speeches (as it did Carter’s) is that his retain so many gaffes, non sequiturs, disconnects, and rant that more polished orators manage to avoid. Reagan wrote few of his planned speeches, but took a strong hand in sketching out subject-matter and major points he wanted to make to his writers; and would, then, review and amended their product to see to it there’d be no gaffes, and that his points were all well made. In that sense, even Reagan’s scripted speeches were his own. Clinton also vetted his writer’s product, despite giving them greater latitude for coming up with ideas for him to address. The rambling, sometimes embarrassing, scripted speeches of Obama have none of those earmarks, and are amateurish for that reason. In his favor, are a beguiling intonation, acceptable vocabulary range, an empathy with his voter-base (if none with objectors and skeptics), and does sometimes manage to project an air of ‘gravitas’ that is largely artificial. However, all these pluses are marred by snobbery, effrontery, demagogy, and a near total inability to forgo cheap swipes at political foes as make him churlishly unapproachable.
Part of the problem of Obama’s weak delivery may be his ego, laziness, and general detachment. He’s too lazy to bother speech-proofing because convinced everything he says will be golden. And, his aloofness (even from intimates) means he doesn’t spend time with them crafting and polishing his delivery. Instead, he dumps the whole mess on them with an expectation they will (and had better) supply him with first-rate speeches. We can only guess at his fury when fail to live up to his expectations (a virtual given, given that the presenter is so absent from the devising). The best speechwriters in the world need feedback from their presenter. It is as if a clothing designer were designing a fancy dress to be worn and displayed by a model he’s never met, measured or tried on his creation before stepping out on the stage in it. The chances of a good fit are small, and the opportunities for embarrassment that much greater. This would explain the reliance on teleprompters. Reagan and Clinton did not need prompting or reminding because, even when others had written the basic speech for them, they’d spent considerable time studying, amending and practicing delivery. They collaborated with their writers, rather than acted the detached presenter. Obama’s heavy reliance on teleprompters tells me he takes too little interest in his own speeches beyond they don’t make him out an utter fool, and is basically unfamiliar with all but their outlines. I seriously doubt, however, that he takes no interest whatsoever in their content and details. It is my guess that he tells his writers what he expects of them, and leaves the rest to them to work out. The next time he sees his product is when it is scrolling up that screen.