Quantcast

«

»

May 17 2013

The Koch Brothers Boogeyman

This post is undoubtedly going to irritate some of my longtime readers, but as I often like to say it has the great virtue of being true. I mostly agree with Michael Moynihan that the Koch brothers have too often been used as a cartoon bad guy by liberals painting with too broad a brush and that them buying the Tribune Company and the many newspapers it owns isn’t really that big a deal. Do try to read the whole post before firing up the flamethrower.

Moynihan starts by noting that Warren Buffett, a prominent liberal billionaire, bought up 62 newspapers last year and hardly a peep was heard. Why? Basic tribalism. We’re fine with billionaires we agree with owning newspapers but we object when billionaires we disagree with own them. And then he notes, quite rightly, that a lot of the Kochs’ views are not nearly as bad as you likely presume them to be:

The Kochs are the conservative analogues of Buffett and George Soros; the sinister bogeymen who supposedly pollute American democracy with ideological propaganda. Details that run counter to these simple narratives are often ignored. Politico, for instance, “revealed” last year that David Koch supports same-sex marriage, wants military spending cut, and wouldn’t rule out tax increases to balance the budget. Only one of those positions (the last one) is surprising, considering Koch ran as the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 1980. It was a scoop freely available in a 2010 New York magazine profile of Koch, which pointed out that “he thought the Iraq War was folly, and supports stem-cell research and gay marriage.”

When BuzzFeed announced that it was hosting an immigration debate “sponsored” by the Charles Koch Foundation, the outraged Twitter brigades (“Fuck you @BuzzFeed you broke my heart taking money from the Koch brothers. You lost a reader”) failed to note that the panel included three immigration reformers and one restrictionist and, as Slate’s David Weigel put it, was “intended to nudge along immigration reform.”

None of this matters, though, because the Kochs have been transformed into “the Kochs.” There was never any suggestion that the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center (so named in 2008 after he made a $100 million donation) would only stage David Mamet plays, Ronald Reagan film festivals, and Elia Kazan retrospectives, yet the protesters descended, demanding a name change. The Kochs gave $100 million to MIT, underwriting a cancer-research center. But this was, said one critic, mere “manufacturing consent” for their reactionary views. The $20 million to the ACLU—which was heavily criticized by some conservatives—didn’t matter either, because they also underwrote candidates who don’t support the ACLU.

That $20 million contribution to the ACLU, which I believe was the largest single donation they’ve ever received, was to fund their work against the Patriot Act. Now, there’s much to criticize about the Koch Brothers. A lot of the things they fund are very bad, like groups and candidates that work to undermine government regulation of the very industries they own, adding billions to their bottom line while damaging the environment and workers’ rights. Very bad indeed.

But I don’t know why rationalists in particular, who apply the tools of reason to human behavior, should be at all surprised to find out that these people can be both good and bad depending on the issue. We should understand from a good deal of social science research that human beings are often flagrantly terrible in one respect and admirable in others. And we, of all people, should be reluctant to push the kind of overly simplistic, cartoonish black-and-white version of reality that we automatically condemn when they are advocated by the religious.

We recognize this immediately when our political opponents do it. We laugh — rightly and appropriately — when Fox News and the right wing blogosphere plays their “six degrees of George Soros” game, straining to find any way at all to tie a group or individual to George Soros so they can easily dismiss anything that person says. It’s the argumentum ad labelum writ large, an attempt to discredit an opponent merely by applying the “tied to George Soros” label to them. And if we’re going to criticize them for doing that with Soros, we should really avoid doing it to the Kochs.

No, this does not mean we shouldn’t criticize the Kochs. We certainly should, and there is a lot that deserves criticism. But stop using them as an all-purpose boogeyman that ignores a more complicated reality than is convenient for us politically.

41 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    daved

    The issue is really about how much the Koch brothers would affect editorial policy at the newspapers, if they buy them. I saw one piece the other day that said the Kochs were offering well above market value for the papers, which makes me suspect that they want the papers as mouhtpieces (a la what Murdoch has done with the Wall St Journal or the Times of London).

    Buffet I worry about less, mostly because he buys businesses whose operations he already likes. He doesn’t tend to interfere. Perhaps he has stuck his hand in at some or all of those 62 newspapers; I haven’t heard about it if he has.

    I don’t know what George Soros would do if he bought a newspaper. Has he ever bought one?

  2. 2
    Reginald Selkirk

    have too often been used as a cartoon bad guy

    Too often the Koch brothers have acted like cartoon bad guys. I will skip the numerous examples.
    .
    And what’s this phony “conservative vs. liberal – they’re all alike” BS? First of all, liberal != left wing. Second of all, Warren Buffett has voiced his opinion in a few editorials and comments to the press, but as far as I know he has not spent hundreds of millions of his dollars trying to influence elections, and the position he supports is for the greater good, not for his personal enrichment.
    .
    A similar thing is happening in the science & religion issue. The Templeton Foundation has spent a great deal of their money trying to promote the idea that science and religion are best buddies. Pretty much everything they have done has been directed toward a pro-religion view. So when they fund a new science magazine, I agree with Jerry Coyne that Templeton involvement should be the kiss of death for it. However Sean Carroll (the cosmologist), who has generally been excellent on science & religion, feels differently and is on the magazine’s advisory board. He feels there is sufficient distance between the magazine and the Templeton funding. See their respective blogs for more details.

  3. 3
    Alverant

    The issue is what motivated them to support the ACLU in fighting the Act Patriotic and what they expect in return. I highly doubt it was for the same reasons the ACLU were fighting it. People can do good things for bad reasons. I also agree with daved said about how much Koch or Buffet steer the newspapers they buy. It’s no big deal if you let the newspaper continue as it has been. It’s quite another to say they slant things in a particular direction.

  4. 4
    Draken

    I suspect that these good points you mention are token gestures and pale in comparison to the billions they invest in murky affairs. Praising them for it could too easily be seen as an endorsement.

  5. 5
    slc1

    1. There’s a big difference between Buffet’s newspaper purchases and those rumored to be the target of the Koch brothers. The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune are two of the most influential papers in the US. None of Buffet’s papers come anywhere near to that category. Just as frightening is the alleged desire of Rupert Murdock to purchase the New York Times and the Washington Post, which are even more influential then the alleged Koch brother’s purchases.

    2. MH might want to comment on this topic because the Koch brothers are the bigest supporters of climate change denialism.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/who-can-stop-the-koch-brothers-from-buying-the-tribune-papers-unions-can-and-should-20130510

  6. 6
    Modusoperandi

    I tied Soros to the Kochs once, but all they did was complain.

  7. 7
    doublereed

    Uhh… tax increases to help the budget is not necessarily liberal. In fact the whole budget scare is conservative. Liberals are the ones saying that this is part of the business cycle.

    And of course the question is “Tax increases for who?

  8. 8
    Eric Johnson

    Hear hear! Well said. It’s absolutely vital that we exercise at least the same degree of diligence in spotting logical fallacies in our own positions and arguments as we do against those we disagree with. It’s too easy to fall into the same simplistic Manichaean dichotomy we so frequently (and correctly) mock in the religious right. It might be distasteful to recognize that even the most easily caricatured conservatives may have some redeeming qualities, but if we don’t we not only rob them of their humanity and open ourselves to well-deserved accusations of bias and hypocrisy, we harm our own intellectual integrity as well.

  9. 9
    unbound

    I can happily disagree with this article because I don’t seen Buffet as significantly better than the Koch brothers. They are all essentially kings. Just because Buffet tends to behave better in that role doesn’t absolve him of using the system to his advantage.

    I don’t see Buffet making any corrections to the massive inequity in corporate compensation. He is more than happy to rake in the big bucks due to these inequities. He just works the masses well and gives more back (while still keeping plenty for himself).

    The Koch brothers happen to be worse because they are actively trying to make the system even more favorable for themselves. This really isn’t that hard to see, is it?

  10. 10
    akkonor

    Spoken like a true useful idiot, Brayton

  11. 11
    Raging Bee

    Once again, the libertarian tribe comes under attack, and once again Ed resorts to the cry of “TRIBALISM!!!” — thus revealing his own tribalistic streak.

    Politico, for instance, “revealed” last year that David Koch supports same-sex marriage, wants military spending cut, and wouldn’t rule out tax increases to balance the budget. Only one of those positions (the last one) is surprising, considering Koch ran as the Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate in 1980. It was a scoop freely available in a 2010 New York magazine profile of Koch, which pointed out that “he thought the Iraq War was folly, and supports stem-cell research and gay marriage.”

    Have they actually DONE anything to provide effective support for any of those causes? Have they orchestrated a huge ad campaign in support of any of those causes? Who did they support in 2004, when they had the perfect opportunity to protest the folly of Bush Jr’s war in a way that would have actually made a difference?

    If you can’t even name ONE significant candidate they supported, against the Republicans whose policies they pretend to oppose, then one has to conclude that they really don’t mean what they say, and you’ve been suckered by their pleasing noises. Again.

    The Kochs gave $100 million to MIT, underwriting a cancer-research center. But this was, said one critic, mere “manufacturing consent” for their reactionary views.

    It’s called buying loyalty. Rich people (on both sides of the law) do it all the time, and it can have a real effect on people’s ability to efectively oppose them when they behave badly. It can also have real effects on an organization’s ability to do its original job in an unbiased fashion. This is, if you’ll remember, why so many people criticize Susan G. Komen — because they take money from businesses whose byproducts may cause breast cancer.

    Also, there’s a real problem with rich right-wingers donating money to cash-strapped colleges — with strings attached that involve big changes to class curricula.

    But I don’t know why rationalists in particular, who apply the tools of reason to human behavior, should be at all surprised to find out that these people can be both good and bad depending on the issue.

    Because when someone behaves badly, he’s considered untrustworthy. A racist who’s nice to his own kind is still a racist. This is standard procedure in judging other people — but when it’s the libertarian tribe being scrutinized, suddenly your tribalism kicks in and a simple and universally-understood rational principle goes out the window.

    And if we’re going to criticize them for doing that with Soros, we should really avoid doing it to the Kochs.

    Argument from false equivalency. The wingnuts’ attacks on all things Soros are not of the same quality as our attacks on the Kochs and their obvious willing sockpuppets. You’ve been relentlessly mockig said wingnuts for YEARS now, so you can’t pretend you don’t see a difference.

    Ed, if you want to accuse someone of “tribalism,” look in a mirror.

  12. 12
    Mr. Upright

    I don’t know about newspapers, but the Koch’s sure have done some shady things with endowments they have given to colleges: http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/billionaires-role-in-hiring-decisions-at-florida-state-university-raises/1168680

    I no interest in the Kochs, Buffet, or Soros, but I wonder if Buffet has ever done anything like that.

  13. 13
    rturpin

    Ed, what you’re ignoring is that there is a natural antipathy between conservative values, as today understood and as embodied in the Koch brothers, and good journalism. I’d feel the same way about Al Gore being appointed CEO of Chevron. I’d sell that stock in a flash, not because Al Gore is worse that the Koch brothers or is incapable of running a company. But because he is a bad fit for an oil company.

    So, yeah, Buffett buying a newspaper is different from the Koch brothers buying a newspaper. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop them. But I expect the quality of those papers to deteriorate seriously.

  14. 14
    Argle Bargle

    When the Koch Brothers stop pushing a libertarian agenda is when I’ll stop thinking of them as “bad guys.” As far as I’m concerned, libertarians, particularly the “I’ve got mine, fuck you” types like the Koch Bros, are the bad guys. Sorry if this doesn’t meet with your approval, Ed.

  15. 15
    Raging Bee

    Eric Johnson: do you have any actual examples of what you’re vaguely kinda sorta trying to insinuate we’re guilty of? I notice your comment is long on vague admonitions and totally devoid of specifics.

  16. 16
    theguy

    “Warren Buffett, a prominent liberal billionaire, bought up 62 newspapers last year and hardly a peep was heard. Why? Basic tribalism.”

    In my defense, I actually hadn’t heard of this happening.

    “David Koch supports same-sex marriage, wants military spending cut, and wouldn’t rule out tax increases to balance the budget”

    The fact is, we already have liberal organizations supporting this stuff. I’d rather have it without the extreme libertarian economics.

    Perhaps that’s what irks me about this whole thing. It seems to me like some people* expect us to ignore the Koch Bros’ bad economic, anti-environment and anti-worker policies just because they support some things that liberal groups have already been working on.

    *Not Brayton. I’m not naming anybody in particular.

  17. 17
    Eric Johnson

    Raging Bee: No, I meant what I said in a general sense. We all have a general tendency to be more stringent in our critique of the other side than we are of our own. I think this is natural; everyone does it and as long as we’re all aware of that natural human tendency then we can make allowances and try to counter it… To deny that we’re susceptible ourselves is to leave ourselves open to lapses in critical thinking.

    I’m not suggesting for a second that we relent or back down from fighting vile people like the Koch brothers when we disagree with them – which in their case is basically always – and I don’t think Ed is either. The way I read Ed’s article is as a warning against using them in the same way that the right uses Soros: i.e., as a substitute for actual critical thinking. “Associated with or funded by the Koch brothers, therefore bad” isn’t particularly helpful – regardless of their motives, there will be (and have been) times when they have played the role of useful idiot themselves.

  18. 18
    Raging Bee

    Perhaps that’s what irks me about this whole thing. It seems to me like some people* expect us to ignore the Koch Bros’ bad economic, anti-environment and anti-worker policies just because they support some things that liberal groups have already been working on.

    What irks ME most is that the libertards only pretend to support those things, while they relentlessly demonize the liberals who also support them.

    Raging Bee: No, I meant what I said in a general sense.

    In other words, you’re warning us of the danger of doing something you know we’re not doing. But thanks, your generic concerns are noted.

    The way I read Ed’s article is as a warning against using them in the same way that the right uses Soros…

    No, he clearly said more than that, and the bulk of it was already debunked. Did you read any of the comments?

  19. 19
    Eric Johnson

    I think Raging Bee is a South Pole elf…

  20. 20
    lofgren

    You’ve successfully cherry picked a few examples of mostly harmless public outreach and suggested that therefore, people with a history of using their wealth to skew science and debate owning a serious chunk of our communications media “is no big deal.”

    Some liberals overreacting to Koch getting a theater named after him is a very poor counterargument to liberals being concerned over the sway they may hold over a freaking NEWSPAPER. That’s like saying it’s no big deal when a cannibal opens up a butcher shop on the corner, because he once got a bad review

    You’re right, people overreact all the time. So what. I’d like to know if any nationally syndicated radio or TV hosts have leveled these superficial criticisms at the Kochs, rather than random commenters on Buzzfeed of all places.

    I don’t know which “rationalists” you’re talking about here who were so critical of the Kochs for giving money to the ACLU, but of course I would like to see more detail of those criticisms. Donating large amounts of money to an organization is a pretty classic way to sway that organization’s agenda. Give the ACLU enough money to fight the patriot act, and inevitably fighting the patriot act becomes a higher priority than some other activity the ACLU previously prioritized that the Kochs may disagree with.

    That’s not to suggest any kind of conspiracy or corruption on the part of anybody at the organization. It’s just a natural result of having lots of money dumped into one area of activity. For example, doctors sometimes criticize charity organizations for skewing the course of medical research by putting a lot of money into one area of research with one fixed goal. Researchers in that field are more likely to get the resources that they need, more people enter the field because it is growing, there is a brief burst of activity and discovery, and then when they fail to discover the cure for cancer the funding suddenly dries up, causing the ongoing research to collapse for lack of resources and leaving other avenues of research atrophied.

    Is that what the Kochs are doing? If so, are they doing it deliberately or accidentally? I don’t know, but it’s definitely something that the ACLU should be aware of as they accept the largest single donation ever.

  21. 21
    Raging Bee

    The $20 million to the ACLU—which was heavily criticized by some conservatives—didn’t matter either, because they also underwrote candidates who don’t support the ACLU.

    That’s a deliberate obfuscation of the issue. Their donation to the ACLU doesn’t matter because they continue to support a party that consistently and effectively opposes everything the ACLU stands for, and has systematically undermined nearly all of the tools the ACLU uses to achieve its goals. When right-wing Republicans control all three branches of our government, donating to the ACLU won’t matter, because the ACLU itself won’t matter. All the money in the world won’t help the ACLU if cops like Arpaio and judges like Scalia can just ignore every motion they file.

  22. 22
    slc1

    Re Eric Johnson @ #19

    Any mention of libertarians is a dog whistle to Raging Bee.

  23. 23
    Modusoperandi

    slc1, Israel!

  24. 24
    Argle Bargle

    slc1 @22

    And your point is? Are you pretending that libertarians are in any way, shape or form people to be admired, glorified or otherwise thought well of? Or are you just commenting that Raging Bee has a realistic view of libertarians?

  25. 25
    Ed Brayton

    There is absolutely nothing in this comment thread that surprises me, least of all Raging Bee’s predictable raging. Mentioning the mere existence of anyone who even leans slightly libertarian in his presence is like waving a bloody flag in front of a bull. I especially find it amusing to be accused of engaging in tribalism to defend “my” tribe of libertarianism, which is of course quite ridiculous. I am certainly not a member of the libertarian tribe, as evidenced by the fact that I strongly disagree with libertarianism when it comes to the absurdly naive view that the free market would correct negative externalities through the magic of informed consumers that do not exist.

    I also have to laugh at the argument that the $20 million contribution to the ACLU to fight the Patriot Act doesn’t matter because the Kochs still supported the Republicans rather than the Democrats. Seriously? What, precisely, have the Democrats done to fight against the Patriot Act and prevent the constitutional abuses of the government’s allegedly anti-terror policies? Not a damn thing. One Democrat — ONE — voted against the Patriot Act. A handful more voted against the reauthorization in 2006. The same is true of the FISA Amendments Act, which Obama promised to filibuster and then supported. The Democratic leadership has been united behind the entire edifice of the National Security State built since 9/11. The rank and file in the House is a little better than the Republicans, but not enough to make any difference. There are lots of differences between the two parties that make the Democrats highly preferable to the Republicans, but not when it comes to these issues. Obama has been not just bad but worse than Bush on these issues in some cases and the Democratic party has marched lockstep along with him.

  26. 26
    democommie

    I Think that the Koch boyz are major league thieves and irredeemable assholes. Their politics are “Me first, me last, me always. Fuck you.”. I don’t care if they buy bread for the poor and don’t drown kittens, they’re going to be asshole and thieves until the day they die–it works for them.

  27. 27
    Ed Brayton

    Alverant wrote:

    The issue is what motivated them to support the ACLU in fighting the Act Patriotic and what they expect in return. I highly doubt it was for the same reasons the ACLU were fighting it.

    Can you offer some sort of coherent ulterior motive? What would they get out of it? And why do you “highly doubt” that they could be genuinely opposed to it on principle, other than because you assign them automatically to being bad guys (and again, they often are) and therefore have to presume a nefarious motive even when they’re doing good things? I’m not busting your chops here, this kind of tribalistic thinking is very normal. We all do it, including me. But I think it’s incumbent on those of us who strive to be rational rather than tribal to attempt to avoid it whenever possible.

  28. 28
    Raging Bee

    There is absolutely nothing in this comment thread that surprises me, least of all Raging Bee’s predictable raging.

    You say “predictable” like it’s a bad thing. Right-wing pond-scum do the same thing whenever any liberal tries to refute their lies. Factual refutations of creationism are predictable too — does that make them unworthy?

    Mentioning the mere existence of anyone who even leans slightly libertarian in his presence is like waving a bloody flag in front of a bull.

    If you can’t show that any of my responses were actually WRONG, then your complaint is just empty whinery. It’s also kind of dishonest to single me out by name and try to imply that I’m the ONLY one attacking libertards.

    I especially find it amusing to be accused of engaging in tribalism to defend “my” tribe of libertarianism, which is of course quite ridiculous.

    Really? Then why do you insist on giving libertarians the benefit of any fake doubt that pops up, when it’s pretty clear that you’d never do the same for, say, a Nazi, Klansman or Larouchie who makes occasional pleasing noises about an issue important to you? If a Nazi stuck an environmentalist slant into his genocidal anti-immigrant hatred, would you suddenly say we should be less harsh on the Nazis?

    What, precisely, have the Democrats done to fight against the Patriot Act and prevent the constitutional abuses of the government’s allegedly anti-terror policies? Not a damn thing.

    Did the Kochs ever approach the Democrats with an offer to support them if they take a stronger stand on civil liberties? You can bet that if they had, the Democrats would have had no choice but to listen, especially in 2004 when the election was so close.

    And when the Democrats WERE supporting civil liberties in the Reagan era, were the Kochs and other libertarians joining with them? FUCK NO, they were demonizing liberals as commie collectivists the whole fucking time. So don’t try to pretend the Koch brothers, or any of their libertarian sockpuppets, really give a shit about civil liberties. Protecting plutocracy is more important to them, and always will be.

  29. 29
    Raging Bee

    …and therefore have to presume a nefarious motive even when they’re doing good things?

    “Presume?” Excuse me, but as MANY commenters have pointed out countless times, we’re not “presuming” nefarious motives, we’re CONCLUDING such motives based on observation of their actions over time. Your refusal to acknoledge this again indicates that you’re the one being tribalistic, not us.

  30. 30
    daniellavine

    When you say:

    Warren Buffett, a prominent liberal billionaire, bought up 62 newspapers last year and hardly a peep was heard

    Do you mean Berkshire Hathaway bought them? Based on Buffett’s well-known and consistent investment strategy this would imply that neither Buffett nor BH management will impose any editorial changes on any of those newspapers. This conclusion is based on a long record of Buffett and BH’s actual, real world history with their investments.

    Compare to the Kochs’ record in similar situations. There may be some question as to whether the Kochs bought the paper as an investment or as an ideological mouthpiece but the equivalence drawn between these cases is rather weak.

    As for whether libertarian philosophy’s few stopped clock moments are actually good reasons to support or defend libertarianism I defer to Professor Chomsky on that question.

  31. 31
    Modusoperandi

    Raging Bee “And when the Democrats WERE supporting civil liberties in the Reagan era, were the Kochs and other libertarians joining with them? FUCK NO, they were demonizing liberals as commie collectivists the whole fucking time.”
    To be fair, they were commie collectivists the whole time. Still are. Hippies, too.

  32. 32
    slc1

    Re daniellavine @ #30

    Citing Noam Chomsky as an authority on anything other then linguistics is ludicrous. Chomsky is the self hating Jew who talked Stephen Hawking into boycotting the President of Israel’s conference, after accepting the invitation. Chomsky who pals around with Holocaust deniers and sucks up to the Mad Mullahs who run Iran. Fuck him.

    http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/news-brief/noam-chomsky-lobbied-hawking-boycott-israels-presidential-conference

  33. 33
    Ichthyic

    Too often the Koch brothers have acted like cartoon bad guys

    this.

    too often the media has ignored the tremendous impacts people like the Kochs and Murdoch actually HAVE had on public thinking.

    Take your head out of your ass, Ed.

  34. 34
    slc1

    Re Ichthyic @ #33

    Which influence will be greatly enhanced if the Kochs take over the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune and Murdoch takes over the New York Times and the Washington Post.

  35. 35
    sezme

    My anger wraps around the lot of them. Here we are pointing fingers at each other to determine who is the worst, while the real issue is that money has such a throttle-hold on politics. I don’t care where it comes from, millions thrown into the political process can only have a corrosive effect.

  36. 36
    iangould

    Warren Buffett’s entire business strategy has been based for decades on finding well-run but undervalued assets, frequently in market sectors currently out of fashion with investors.

    His purchase of newspapers, especially regional ones that enjoy effective monopolies, is wholly consistent with a strategy that has resulted in Berkshire Hathaway investing in everything from carpets to insurance to ice cream to suits to electric cars.

    The Koch Brothers business strategy has been based for decades on playing with the toys daddy left them while speechifying on the merits of hard work and systematically defrauding the US government out of minerals royalties while violating environmental laws at every opportunity.

    There’s a reason why it’s the Kochs and not other conservative or libertarian billionaires who are the focus of suspicion.

  37. 37
    democommie

    Someone mentioned on a post thread a while back that the Koch’s whose money underwrites a lot of efforts by Teabaggocrats are atheists. If true (and I have no reason to suspect it’s not) then their giving $20M to ACLU is nothing but a business decision.

  38. 38
    slc1

    Re democommie @ #37

    Indeed, the Koch brothers are non-believers.

  39. 39
    Patrick from Michigan (Yes, that one!)

    I don’t believe it. :shock:

    I actually agree with this

    *said in best Andy Griffith voice*

    Ain’t that sumin’?

    :)

  40. 40
    daniellavine

    slc1@31:

    Citing Noam Chomsky as an authority on anything other then linguistics is ludicrous.

    Actually when it comes to linguistics he’s purely a theorist and his theories have been shot pretty well full of holes at this point. I find him much more credible when it comes to political theory. A degree doesn’t imply expertise and a lack of degree doesn’t imply a lack of expertise. You’d think people in the “skeptic community” would already know this but apparently not.

    Chomsky is the self hating Jew who talked Stephen Hawking into boycotting the President of Israel’s conference, after accepting the invitation. Chomsky who pals around with Holocaust deniers and sucks up to the Mad Mullahs who run Iran. Fuck him.

    The usual substance-free moralistic plaints. I’d love to see you address Chomsky’s actual arguments instead of relying on ad hominem but I won’t hold my breath.

  41. 41
    daniellavine

    And “self hating Jew”? Seriously? You’re going to discredit yourself entirely right out of the gate like that?

    I think we need a version of Godwin’s law for use of the phrase “self-hating Jew”.

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site