I'm an Intellectual Moron!!!
My friend Matt bought me this book, called _Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas_ by Daniel J. Flynn (author of _Why the Left Hates America_, so the dust cover tells me). See, Matt and I have great respect for each other, but we both feel each other's ideologies keep us from seeing the truth. I told Matt, if I read this, he has to read Al Franken's _Lies and the ..._.
So, here goes. I'm going to read the book at post my thoughts about it here.
10/19/04: Page 1!
Ok, page 1 done, it was short...
There were some pretty harsh words. So, Amazon says Mr. Flynn's other book is _Why the Left Hates America_. Whew, the dust cover didn't lie to me! Also, on the recommendations list is Ann Colter's book. I'm guessing this guy is sorta 'right-wing' but I don't want to label him. Neither do I want to label his book as conservative. Instead, I want to look at what he's saying and see if he makes mistakes in his arguments or if he's trying to pick on one particluar group.
Oh, here we go. Oooh! I love this quote:
Despite the conviction and seeming depth of knowledge with which ideologues speak, they are intellectual weaklings -- joiners -- who defer to systems of belief and charismatic gurus for their ideas.That's good. Now let's see... which group, right or left wingers "defer to systems of belief" and "charismatic gurus". While I think every man has some amount of faith, I can't help but notice how it seems the right wingers want to push that belief into the system (anti gay-marriage bill). Also, if I had to chose a "charismatic" guru, I don't think Kerry fits. Bush is charismatic though! So wait, is he saying the right wing are "intellectual weaklings"??! No, no, I'm sure he's not trying to label or pick on either group. "Intellectual weaklings" could be either liberals or conservatives, or both! But, if I had to say one group (rights or lefts) "defer[s] to systems of belief" and "charimatic gurus" it would be the righties, but that's just me.
Further down we get into the ending of his intro (last large paragraph before "Systems" on page 2 if you are following along). Here the author typically makes his point, and later proves it right. I love this, he starts with a choice quote from Al Gore. See, in the early 90's Gore was pushing heavily for us to make the world a cleaner place. He wanted to see polution go down since it has shown to produce increases in global warming. Keep the world clean, and you remove a possible threat to everybody's existant (global warming causing climate problems). However, some people like to use this as an attack against Gore himself. I still to this day can't figure out why an environmentalist is a bad thing, but so far Sean Hannity did it and now Flynn is doing it.
Second line... talks about feminist leaders defending Scott Peterson. Wait, what is this "2" next to the sentance. Ah, endnotes, good! Turning to the back he references an article about the Scott Peterson case. Now, I typed in the URL he listed, it's invalid. I had to do a google search to get the article... it's here. Wow, I read the article... and this sentance is VERY misleading.
Why do feminist leaders defend accused wife-killer Scott Peterson against charges of killing his unborn son? - (IM, 2)Tell you what, before we go more into this sentance, please go read the article. This is important. First off, there is no mention of "feminist". One person mentioned in the article works for NOW, National Organization for Women, but I don't see how that should label anyone an "feminist" (UPDATE: In the respect that "feminist" usually caries with it harsh undertones of extremism... hence "femin-nazi"). Ok, moving on.. "defend accused wife-killer... against charges of killing his unborn son". No, nobody is defending this man. What the article is talking about is the controversy over the "fetal homicide" laws. See, some people believe that since states say killing a woman and her baby is wrong, that killing just the baby is also wrong. We won't get into that argument here, but the "feminist" (if I understand who he's talking about, Flynn never says who the "feminist" is, yet...) was discussing this aparent double standard and how it could affect pro-choice activists (possibly reversing Roe vs Wade). So, to summarize the article:
Woman from NOW says that fetal homocide laws could help back pro-lifers to overturn Row vs Wade.
So, NO, Mr Flynn, nobody is defending Scott Peterson's action, they are talking about the laws involved in the case. What an aweful twist!
He ends the paragraph with a discussion about Peter Singer and his support for beastiality (sex with animals for you intellectual morons). I read the article he points to in the endnotes (this time the link was correct, if not confusing, since it spanned two lines), go read it yourself. If you notice, Peter doesn't really support or not support sex with animals, he just talks about it and it's history. I haven't read the PETA part though yet, so I'm not sure what that will cover. But tonight, I'm stopping here.
So, where did I get? I got two pages in, wrote this, and so far he's in the crapper. He's twisted facts, confused the reader (me! I thought he was going to bad-mouth liberals but it seems like he's poking at conservatives!), and made an ass out of himself. Reading this book is going to be as fun as a colonoscopy, but I promised I'd do it... if Matt reads _Lies..._
Tomorrow I'll read more.