Sam Harris repeats lies - the old commie/nazi trick
Posted: 20 February 2005 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Well good ol' Sam repeats the lie about James Watt and destroying trees to enable the return of Christ.  This was on his CSPAN book notes speech at a Synagogue.  Repeat a big lie over and over so the people will believe it and the surrounding crud that you spew.  Go here to see the debunked Watt lie:  http://brian.carnell.com/archives/years/2005/02/000001.html
and http://brian.carnell.com/archives/years/2005/02/000003.html and http://www.mjfellows.org/news/.  Pity on this guy - he will have to pay the piper one day like all of us!!

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Posted: 20 February 2005 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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The fact that Mr Bush invents any reason to attack the environment is proof enough that the intention is there. Tony M.

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Posted: 21 February 2005 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]The fact that Mr Bush invents any reason to attack the environment is proof enough that the intention is there. Tony M.

Thank You Robert Kennedy Jr. - Please provide evidence of this “attack” on the environment.  Also include cost benefit analysis and statistically significant data to support your position.  Oh I forgot - the truth and data are irrelevant to the left.  Just like the reporter who asked questions at the UN Climate conference and was told to be quiet and leave.

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Posted: 21 February 2005 05:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Dear Bill G.

I went to the sites that you posted and from what I read Watt was so Kooky in his pronouncements that it is possible that he could have said this or some paraphrased version of it.  It is clear that there is no official record of him saying but I find it strange that he has made no official denial.  Maybe he has and it just wasn’t mentioned.  I find this equally strange.  Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Sam, without checking, repeated an uncorroborated myth.  To my knowledge he did this only while speaking in answer to a question sort of off the top of his head.

To give some perspective to this supposed major error of Sam’s I would ask you to remember that bastion of moral certitude and conservative Bill Bennet.  In 1993 he wrote a book titled “The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators” in which he sited lists from a “scientific survey” comparing the problems in schools of the 1940’s and those of the 1980’s.  Bill, a Sec of ED in the Reagan administration, had used this “scientific survey list” many times over the years in speeches, editorials and televised talks.  Well someone final checked this “scientific survey” out and found it to be something put together by a born-again right wing Christian fundamentalist named T. Cullen Davis for the purpose of attacking public schools.  Try this web site: http://tafkac.org/collegiate/school_troubles_hoax.html

If you go to the site above you will find that Bill was not the lone ranger on this one.  There is a long list of anti-education conservatives who used this myth and some still are using it.
It is interesting that even after Mr. Bennet was informed that he was citing a mythical scientific study he continued to use it in pubic speeches.  If Sam is a liar then Mr. Bennet is an even bigger liar.  Lets face it sometimes people make mistakes and use things without checking so let’s not play the pot calling the kettle black game because if we start talking about liars I am going to call in Al Franken.

The idea that the public schools are failing is what I call the big lie.  It is one of those lies that if repeated over and over takes on the aura of truth for those inclined to believe it.  They then use the lie as the basis to look for evidence to support it and suppress or ignore any evidence that shows it to be false.  This I have found is the basic method by which believers try to find truth.  I do not contend that education in the U.S. cannot or should not be improved.  I also do not contend that there are not pockets of severe problems (in major urban areas and several of the red states) that need to be addressed.  I do contend however that in general the system is generally doing a good job especially considering the conditions and problems our politicians have forced upon it.  Check out a Rand report that came out in 1990 that made just this point.  In my view the reason why conservatives are attacking the public schools are three.

1. There is a lot of money in it.  Vouchers could bring some of that money
  to their Big business friends.
2. It would be a way to bring back segregated schools along economic (and
  therefore Racial) lines.
3. The secular public schools are the only place students where students
  are Some what free from the mind numbing propaganda of believers
  (social, political and religious.  This is why the conservatives tell the lie
  of evil liberal bias in the schools.  Fair play and honest presentation of
  all sides of an issue is not their way.


Ray

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Posted: 21 February 2005 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Okay - Moyers has retracted the quote and apologized. Sam Harris has also retracted the statement.

FWIW, the Watt quote goes back two sources before Moyers and the originator stands by it…thekeez

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Posted: 23 February 2005 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“Anonymous”]Dear Bill G.

I went to the sites that you posted and from what I read Watt was so Kooky in his pronouncements that it is possible that he could have said this or some paraphrased version of it.  It is clear that there is no official record of him saying but I find it strange that he has made no official denial.  Maybe he has and it just wasn’t mentioned.  I find this equally strange.  Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Sam, without checking, repeated an uncorroborated myth.  To my knowledge he did this only while speaking in answer to a question sort of off the top of his head.

Wrong he said it in his prepared remarks before the question and answer period.  Boy you really are prepared to rationalize anything this guy says to back up your position.  Kool Aid for sale in aisle 7.

[quote author=“Anonymous”]To give some perspective to this supposed major error of Sam’s I would ask you to remember that bastion of moral certitude and conservative Bill Bennet.  In 1993 he wrote a book titled “The Index of Leading Cultural Indicators” in which he sited lists from a “scientific survey” comparing the problems in schools of the 1940’s and those of the 1980’s.  Bill, a Sec of ED in the Reagan administration, had used this “scientific survey list” many times over the years in speeches, editorials and televised talks.  Well someone final checked this “scientific survey” out and found it to be something put together by a born-again right wing Christian fundamentalist named T. Cullen Davis for the purpose of attacking public schools.  Try this web site: http://tafkac.org/collegiate/school_troubles_hoax.html

You quote a source that starts their article with “Those famous lists of school troubles may not exactly be a hoax. But they sure have been stretched by people eager to decry America’s ills”.  Nice try.

[quote author=“Anonymous”]If you go to the site above you will find that Bill was not the lone ranger on this one.  There is a long list of anti-education conservatives who used this myth and some still are using it.
It is interesting that even after Mr. Bennet was informed that he was citing a mythical scientific study he continued to use it in pubic speeches.  If Sam is a liar then Mr. Bennet is an even bigger liar.  Lets face it sometimes people make mistakes and use things without checking so let’s not play the pot calling the kettle black game because if we start talking about liars I am going to call in Al Franken.

Yes, call in Franken and Moore, the leaders of the left/Democrats.
They are experts on lying!!

[quote author=“Anonymous”]
The idea that the public schools are failing is what I call the big lie.  It is one of those lies that if repeated over and over takes on the aura of truth for those inclined to believe it.  They then use the lie as the basis to look for evidence to support it and suppress or ignore any evidence that shows it to be false.  This I have found is the basic method by which believers try to find truth.  I do not contend that education in the U.S. cannot or should not be improved.  I also do not contend that there are not pockets of severe problems (in major urban areas and several of the red states) that need to be addressed.  I do contend however that in general the system is generally doing a good job especially considering the conditions and problems our politicians have forced upon it.  Check out a Rand report that came out in 1990 that made just this point.  In my view the reason why conservatives are attacking the public schools are three.

Your problem is you can’t call a spade, a spade.  You call an undeniable fact and situation “the big lie.”  Are you nuts?  Well, liberalism has been called a “Mental Disorder”, so you are fitting the bill!!

[quote author=“Anonymous”]1. There is a lot of money in it.  Vouchers could bring some of that money to their Big business friends.

Oh yes, all Corporations are evil entities hell bent on destroying the world.

[quote author=“Anonymous”]
2. It would be a way to bring back segregated schools along economic (and therefore Racial) lines.

Oh yes, all Conservatives are evil Nazis who wish to kill all minoroties and burn them in death camps.  I forgot!!

[quote author=“Anonymous”]
3. The secular public schools are the only place students where students
  are Some what free from the mind numbing propaganda of believers
  (social, political and religious.  This is why the conservatives tell the lie
  of evil liberal bias in the schools.  Fair play and honest presentation of
  all sides of an issue is not their way.Ray

Check up on your history.  The secular public schools used to start each morning with a prayer.  There are plenty of secular people who grew up under this scheme who do not have any regrets or complaints.  I guess when you are willing to rationalize lies from your side it does become mind numbing, it is so hard to keep track of which lie you are willing to admit and which one must be supported.

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Posted: 23 February 2005 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Hey Guest? Is that you Bill?

Right from the start it is obvious that you do not understand too well what you read.  Perhaps you are a product of those old secular schools that wasted time praying each morning instead of starting in on your reading lesson. 

First you repeatedly refer to me as Anonymous as if you had no idea what my name was.  If you look at the bottom of my post you will see I signed it Ray.  I was on a host computer and did not log in so my name did not appear in the posted by box.  If you look on the list for the forum you will find me and if you read in any of the other discussions you will find me.  So it’s Ray ok? 


“Wrong he said it in his prepared remarks before the question and answer period. Boy you really are prepared to rationalize anything this guy says to back up your position. Kool Aid for sale in aisle 7”.


If you look again at my post you will see that I said “To my knowledge he did this only while speaking in answer to a question sort of off the top of his head.”  By using the words “to my knowledge” I was indicating that as far as I knew and had information this is what happened.  I only saw part of Sam’s prepared remarks on c-span, mostly the last half and the question and answer period at the end, and I thought I recalled him saying something about Watt in response to a question.  So I might have got it wrong.  So what’s the big deal?  I can tell you this. If I did get it wrong I’ll be happy to retract it.  It has little to do with the point I was trying to make anyway.  Anyway it’s not as if I was trying to make an unequivocal factual statement.  “To my knowledge” would indicate to most readers that there might be some chance that the statement to follow was incorrect due to imperfect knowledge.  Jumping to the conclusion that this statement indicates that I am “prepared to rationalize anything this guy says” is just the old feeble trick of setting up a straw man argument so you can then knock it down.  It just shows how desperate you are to find something to attack.  If you look at the previous sentence you will see I say “Let’s assume for the sake of argument that Sam, without checking, repeated an uncorroborated myth.”  See I already granted you the assumption that Sam repeated a myth without checking.  “To my knowledge” is just an equivocation from perhaps faulty knowledge not a rationalization.  Now I ask you what would have been your response if I had written, “It is my best recollection he did this only while speaking in answer to a question….”  I think that you would probably have responded in the same way.  What does “Kool Aid for sale in aisle 7” mean?  Sorry, I don’t get it.

“You quote a source that starts their article with “Those famous lists of school troubles may not exactly be a hoax. But they sure have been stretched by people eager to decry America’s ills”. Nice try.”

What has this got to do with what I said in the quote you highlighted?  I guess you missed it so I will spell it out for you.  In his original post Bill said ”Well good ol’ Sam repeats the lie about James Watt and destroying trees to enable the return of Christ.  Repeat a big lie over and over so the people will believe it and the surrounding crud that you spew.”
What I was trying to point out was that repeating lies is something that Conservatives seem to do at least as well or better than Liberals.  The fact is that there is a conservative moral hypocrite named Bill Bennet that has been going around citing a made up scientific study in speeches, editorials and televised talks.  He even put it in his book “The Index of Leading Indicators”.  He used this made up “scientific survey” without checking because it confirmed his bias and was useful to his purpose.  The fact that T. Cullen Davis was not trying to hoax anyone and freely admitted that he put the lists together for the purpose of attacking the public schools is irrelevant.  The fact is that Davis’s lists were turned into a “Scientific Survey” (a lie that became a big lie by being repeated over and over) by anti-education conservatives like Bill Bennet not as a conscious hoax but as a consequence of the fact that it suited their purposes to do so.  It confirmed their bias and helped to advance their cause, the destruction of the secular public school system in the U.S., so they went with it and kept repeating it without ever checking their facts.  I say that Bill was even a bigger liar than Sam because even after he was informed as to the facts he continued to cite this “scientific survey” in speeches and talks.  I have never heard of him retracting or apologizing for this in any way.  I haven’t heard of him using this lie of the fictitious scientific survey lately so maybe he has finally stopped.  I have however heard this fictitious survey still being used by others.  I can only assume they haven’t got the word.
By the way when writing on the internet if someone uses all capital letters they are considered yelling.  I would like you to note in the quote I copied and pasted from your response you have enlarged lower case letters in bold print.  Does this mean you are screaming?  If so please stop it you might cause yourself to have a heart attack.

“Yes, call in Franken and Moore, the leaders of the left/Democrats.
They are experts on lying!!”

Have you read Al Franken’s book “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”?  If you haven’t I recommend that you do.  Go slow you might have a better chance of understanding it.  I must admit that Al only picks on Conservative liars in this book but you seem to think that only Liberals lie so even though it is sort of a one sided attack it might help you attain “A Fair and Balanced” view.  As for Mr. Moore I have not seen his film but have heard much both denigrating it and praising it.  I am skeptical of any politically motivated film because I think that it is too often the case that the truth ends up on the cutting room floor.
I do not consider either Mr. Franken or Mr. Moore leaders of the left/Democrats.  I am fairly sure (more equivocation) that left/Democrats also would not consider them leaders.  Maybe they would be considered allies, but not leaders.  Also, I don’t know if Mr. Moore is an expert liar but I do know the evidence seems to indicate that Mr. Franken is not.  I have not heard of one of the liars that Mr. Franken has exposed in his book that has been successful in responding to his challenge that they demonstrate he has lied about their lying in any way.  Have you?  If so please cite your source.

“Your problem is you can’t call a spade, a spade. You call an undeniable fact and situation “the big lie.” Are you nuts? Well, liberalism has been called a “Mental Disorder”, so you are fitting the bill!!”

Oh sure I can.  A spade is a spade.  See, that was easy.  I think your problem is you can’t tell fact from fiction.  You can’t tell a lie from the truth.  You seem to think your belief’s are undeniable.  No, I am not nuts.  What’s nuts is to accept things without evidence and act as if unsubstantiated belief was fact.  What’s nuts is to fail to realize that there is another side and another view.  I will quote you from Bill’s original post “Repeat a big lie over and over so the people will believe it and the surrounding crud that you spew.”  There is no way this could be what the anti-education conservatives could be doing over the issue of public education.  They couldn’t possibly have an agenda could they Guest?  I suppose you have already forgotten about Bill Bennet and his repeated spewing of a made up “scientific survey”?  Here are a few web sites I recommend that you might find interesting.  If you read these carefully you may find that all is not as you have been told and have come to believe after being told so many times.

http//educationright.tripod.com/id252.htm
http//www.socialistappeal.org/usa/bushs_education_agenda.html
http//www.weac.org/resource/primer/evidenc.htm
http//www.schoolchoices.org/roo/sted1.htm

If you do carefully read and try to understand what you find at these sites you will see that I am not at all nuts.  A nut would be someone who makes pronouncements without any attempt to give evidentiary support for those pronouncements.  Someone who repeats without thought what those who share his bias spew forth.
I don’t know anything about liberalism being a mental disorder but I do know I am not a liberal so I don’t see how I could fit any bill.  Actually I try not to conform to any label.  I find labels confining, polarizing and counter productive.  My method is to take in as much information on an issue and then try to arrive at the most sensible workable conclusions I can.  I recommend this method to everyone, especially people like you.

“Oh yes, all Corporations are evil entities hell bent on destroying the world.”

Are you nuts?  What has this to do with what I said?  More straw men to knock down?  You don’t think there are businesses run by business men that wouldn’t like to see part of the billions spent on education in this country every year be part of their revenue stream?  No, that couldn’t possibly be a possible motivation to support vouchers could it? 

”Oh yes, all Conservatives are evil Nazis who wish to kill all minoroties and burn them in death camps. I forgot!!”

Let me get this straight.  You are saying that I am saying that the attempt by some to use vouchers to dismantle the secular public school system and thereby bring back segregated schools along economic lines (and therefore racial) means that I think all Conservatives are evil Nazis who whish to kill all minorities and burn them in death camps?  Huh?

“Check up on your history. The secular public schools used to start each morning with a prayer. There are plenty of secular people who grew up under this scheme who do not have any regrets or complaints. I guess when you are willing to rationalize lies from your side it does become mind numbing, it is so hard to keep track of which lie you are willing to admit and which one must be supported.”

Yes Guest, I’ll check history if you check yours.  I’ll bet there are plenty of secular people who grew up under this scheme who do have regrets so now what?  I recommend a PBS special that traced the history of education in the U.S. from the days of the little one room school house to the present.  You won’t have to read, just watch.  I think you will find it enlightening.  I bet you won’t consider this will you?  Is it possible that you consider PBS a liberal propaganda machine that uses your tax dollars to spout commie socialism and anti-Christian humanism along with homosexual lifestyles?  Boy, it’s a tough world isn’t it.

Can’t wait to see your response to this,
Ray (not Anonymous) Ray Got it?

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Posted: 24 February 2005 04:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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When I did a little google on this James Watt thing, I saw many, many references to Moyer’s attempt to “smear” Watt with the quote. Even the originator of this thread accuses Sam of “commie/nazi” tricks by repeating it. Heavy stuff.

But I’m trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. Let’s forget the whole did Watt say it or not angle for a minute and look at what he’s quoted as saying. Basically, the quote is pretty standard pre-millennialist stuff - you know, the Left Behind crowd. When Israel occupies all the biblical territories, and war rages in the middle east, and the earth’s resources are depleted, Christ will return, take all the good people to heaven where they will get a ring-side seat and watch Christ destroy all the sinners.

This quote attributed to James Watt is right out of the standard rapture pamphlet. What’s interesting about all this, is so many Watt defenders consider attributing this belief to Watt as a smear. They obviously are very uncomfortable with those sorts of beliefs yet these are the people Republicans have brought into their party. These are the people they are relying on to win elections. These are the people who are trying to influence foreign policy in exchange for their votes.

And they do have access to this White House. Now, why is it a smear to attribute their beliefs to a Republican? Just askin’...thekeez

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Posted: 27 February 2005 02:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Well done Thekeez

You have made an excellent point.  Either the faithful believe their professed nonsense or they don’t.  So come on Mr. Watt which is it?  Speak up please.  It seems that every time a belief held by the faithful appears in a public forum in a way that obviously shows how ludicrous it is, the faithful take it as some sort of attack on their credibility.  This is better known as talking out of both sides of ones mouth at once.  Note that when you go to these sites that decry the abuse of Mr. Watt you never find a statement by anyone that this is not what Mr. Watt believes.  I have not once seen a quote attributed to Mr. Watt that said “The quote attributed to me is totally false AND I have not and do not believe that when the last of earths resources are gone Jesus will return.”  I asked Bill to point me in the direction of such a quote in my first post but have not been given any guidance for finding one. 

We have got to find a way to get observations like yours on the evening news or how about the Mclaughlin group?

Ray

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