Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rebecca picks on WND column, proceeds to steal candy from baby

World Net Daily is a vast well from which I can drink continually and never feel the pang of thirst. Smart people like my Bajillion readers know that everything published at WND bears the argumentative integrity of a drunk seven-year-old speaking Latin. But what about all the doofuses who aren't smart and take WND seriously?

WND does a good job of reflecting the erroneous or specious (yet semi-coherent) arguments that plague otherwise innocuous thinkers, then take those arguments to their logical conclusions, thus revealing how painfully weak the original argument was to begin with. They use the same rhetorical techniques employed by stupid people who aren't crazy (e.g., Bill O'Reilley, Sean Hannity), then utilize those exact techniques to be crazy (like Pat Buchanan or this asshat).

Here's an example: Profiling: Because we're not God. The content of the article is crazy claptrap; most essays touting racial profiling are. The title alone should be a dead givaway. But the arguments that Walter E. Williams uses are so familiar and successful among less insane pundits and writers that they warrant analysis.

1. WND's editors have cashed in on the principle of Oppressed Subgroup Immunity, namely that if you're black or Muslim or a woman then you're automatically granted license to spout bullshittery on behalf of all blacks or Muslims or women without fear of reprimandation. "But I'm black! How could I be racist?!" Well played, World Net Daily.

2. Williams begins by stating the obvious. By leading with an inarguable assertion, he poises himself as a reasonable, truthful character.
God, or some other omniscient being, would never racially profile. Why? Since He is all-knowing, He'd know who is and is not a terrorist or a criminal. We humans are not all-knowing.
Well, I guess you got me there, Walt. Even if you don't believe in god, you have to accept the internal logic of this statement. Shit. I guess this means humans are obligated to perform all the functions the G-man isn't around to do for us. Has anyone invented a Hurricane Course Changer yet?

3. The author uses a bogus analogy that is structurally identical to the topic at hand, yet is in practice totally different from the issue being debated.
Mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases were approximately 30 percent higher among black adults than among white adults. The Pima Indians of Arizona have the world's highest known diabetes rates. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as white men. Would anyone bring racial profiling charges against a doctor who routinely ordered more frequent blood tests and prostate screening among his black patients and more glucose tolerance tests for his Pima Indian patients?
Of course, while racially-specific medical screening saves the lives of blacks and American Indians, racial profiling at airports negatively discriminates against Middle Eastern-looking people. See? Internally logical analogy coupled with insanely stupid extension of that analogy.

4. Williams invokes legitimate facts to support an illegitimate stance.
It is clear, whether we like it or not, or want to say it or not, that there is a strong correlation between terrorist acts and being a Muslim, and being black and high rates of crime.
Since September 11, 2001, fewer than ten terrorists have attacked American soil, and they happened to all be Muslim. Okay, so 100% of terrorists to attack the US in the last six years have been Muslim. But that also means that fewer than 0.00000001% of all Muslims have attacked the US in the last six years. Somehow that's a less impressive number.

Also, I'm pretty sure that most terrorist acts on US territory in the 1990s were by white American Christian dudes. For some reason we didn't racially profile white guys after the Oklahoma City bombing. Clearly, there's another variable (hint: racism) at play.

5. Finally, Walter pulls the "blame the victims, not the victimizers" rabbit out of his magic top hat of crazy.
A law-abiding Muslim who's given extra airport screening or a black who's stopped by the police is perfectly justified in being angry, but with whom should he be angry? I think a Muslim should be angry with those who've made terrorism and Muslim synonymous and blacks angry with those who've made blacks and crime synonymous.
Yes, and don't blame rapists ... blame the rape victims for dressing like sluts! Or, better yet, blame every self-empowered woman who's expressed interest in sex at any point in her life. So any woman who doesn't want to be sexually assaulted should air her grievances with all the feminist women who like dick. (Note how I used an analogy that actually makes sense. Sheesh.)

Racism should not be the burdon the oppressed. There's no such thing as a legitimate stereotype. And racism is always wrong, no matter what color the racist's skin is.

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