Saturday, July 25, 2009

Arguing With Idiots

Idiots at Work
Never argue with idiots.
They will drag you down to their level,
and beat you with experience.

I’m not sure which is more entertaining; watching the frustration of a sane person arguing with an idiot, or watching the sheer chaos of two idiots arguing with each other. It is definitely a case of the latter when one of the news talk shows invites a person on to talk about Barack Obama’s purported lack of a birth certificate.

Chris Matthews had Gordon Liddy as a guest on Hardball wanting to know why Liddy was questioning Obama’s citizenship. He waved a piece of paper in front of Liddy, who mumbled, “That’s not a birth certificate, that’s a certificate of live birth.” That went right past Matthews, who apparently saw nothing remarkable in Liddy’s disclaimer that a “certificate of live birth” is not the same thing as a “birth certificate” because by that time Matthews had completely lost his mind, driven nuts by Liddy’s incoherent mumblings.

Of course, for Matthews that's more like a chip shot than a drive.

The segment went on for a while after that, but Liddy had already won hands down. Matthews was from then on demanding to know who was in on the conspiracy to forge Obama’s citizenship by planting false birth announcements forty-odd years ago. Said forgery was apparently pretty skillfully done, since it got past the various federal agencies which gave Obama a Top Secret Drop Dead security clearance.

In the picture above, the guy on the right is not the idiot because he is trying to tell David Shuster, the idiot on the left, that the GOP actually does have something to gain by allowing the fruitcakes to perpetuate this “birther” thing. He’s pointing out that it is a distraction, and that every minute that is spent talking about Obama’s birth certificate is a minute not spent talking about health care reform, which is something that the GOP doesn’t want to talk about. Duh.

Shuster keeps screaming at him, in an increasingly angry manner, “But it’s nonsense.” To which the guy makes quite moderate replies such as, “And the media keeps giving it air time,” and, “And we’re talking about it right now on your show, David.”

Who are the idiots, really? The “birthers” who question Obama’s citizenship? Or people like Chris Matthews and David Shuster who keep giving them the air time on which to do it? Or maybe people like me who watch the show?

Well, hell, I’ve got to watch something, and they’re entertaining.


  1. I like the very last line the best - sums it all up.

    As far as the 'birthers" go, some people will beleive it, most won't andconsider it absurd. Of course, 8% or so believe the moon landings were faked, and we all know that's BS.

    Yeah, distractons are idea and progress killers. That's the bad thing, really, regardless of party lines. The GOP may be more the bad guys in the health reform debate, but the Dems are not blameless. There is plenty to go around.

  2. Anonymous7:29 PM

    The certificate of live birth says, right on it, that it constitutes "prima facie" evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii. Does anyone out there other than lawyers understand what "prima facie" evidence means? It means that it creates a rebuttable presumption that Obama was born in Hawaii - it does NOT constitute irrefutable evidence that he was born in Hawaii. In a court of law, if an attorney is presented with prima facie evidence by the other side, the attorney marshalls evidence to rebut the rebuttable presumption, i.e., to prove otherwise. This whole meme out there that the certificate of live birth constitutes "proof" of anything is the "big lie" that the media keeps repeating.

  3. Anonymous7:35 PM

    Ah hell, while I'm at it:

  4. Arthur5:46 AM

    No, I am not a lawyer; but yes, I do know what "prima facia" means. "On the face of it", or the literal Latin "from the first face". Meaning that by itself it constitutes proof of the case; e.g., that Obama was born in Hawaii.
    Of course it is not "irrefutable evidence", all evidence can be refuted; that is to say, any piece of evidence can be denied, rejected, overlooked, or otherwise dismissed. The question is, should it be? Does the mere fact that someone rejects evidence mean that the evidence is false? Or does it mean that that they don't want to believe it?
    As anonymous points out, Obama's "certificate of live birth" is prima facia evidence that he was born in the state of Hawaii. As he puts it, "it creates a rebuttable presumption", but he is wrong when he goes on to say that attorneys "rebut the rebuttable presumption, i.e., prove otherwise". He implies that "rebuttable" means that it IS (always) rebutted or disproven. It is not; it only means that it is liable to the ATTEMPT to rebut it. Until and unless evidence or argument sufficient to disprove the relevance or factuality of the prima facia evidence is submitted, that prima facia evidence, BY DEFINITION, proves the case.
    Thus, since it is certainly relevant and has been shown to not be a forgery, Obama's "certificate of live birth" DOES "constitute proof" that he was born in the United States. The media is not repeating a "big lie" when it reports that fact.

    To quote anonymmous one last time, "Ah hell, while I am at it":

  5. Anonymous5:01 PM

    Hi1 I am a retired report writer. I wrote reports for a large number of federal agencies and contractors until my retirement. I did two very thick reports in the early eighties on documents fraud in the United States, then another about documents fraud in the Soviet Union. From everything I have seen, it seems Obama has a faked birth certificate and opossibly one or more faked degrees. There is a very rich field of on-line federal reports on this problem, which has been rampant since 1790, when we began selling American citizenship papers to British sailors trying to avoid impressment. That lead in part to the War of 1812. If it were not for Obama being a politician, he would have been arrested by now and kicked out of the country.
    As regards college/university fraud, a common gimmick I have seen repeatedly is the planting of a fake college transcript on real transcript stock into university registrars' offices, and inserting same into the computers used to verify attendance and graduation claims. This can fall apart if each class Obama claims to have taken is gone over with a costly fine-ttothed comb. There are reports that outside of one prof at Coluimbia, no one remembers Obama at Columbia.