Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fright Right

Liberals2 After my discovery of Conservapedia (I know it's been around for a while, but it was new to me) yesterday, I've spent a few enjoyable hours exploring the site. I've gasped in astonishment, I've laughed with delight, and I've marveled at some of the unintentionally funny entries on various topics. It struck me as if the sites of Landover Baptist, The Onion, and America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers, were all rolled into one. And the best thing about it is that they really aren't trying to be funny!

Before I get deeper into this, let me reiterate that I don't hate conservatives. I have several in my family, and I love them dearly, although we disagree on a lot of things. That's okay. It's a big world, and finding common ground is important. I am highly bothered, however, by the distortion and ignoring of facts, especially in the field of science. What can I say? That is what I studied, so that is what I tend to focus on.

As I was exploring the site, I came across some random things that I really enjoyed, and a search for hot button topics turned up some other intriguing nuggets...like the entry on Barack Hussein Obama, which opens with the statement that he was "allegedly" born in Hawaii. Haha! I'm going to share a few with you, and don't be surprised if this becomes a running feature here. Some of this stuff is just way too much fun to not write about! I also noticed that access was sporadic at best; the site seems to crash frequently and with regularity. As I wrote on Facebook, if Conservapedia wants to reach the heathen liberals, it had best be getting some better servers!

One of my favorites popped up when I was checking random pages:

Waitress: A waitress is the female eqiuivalent [sic] of a waiter. Some extreme feminists and Liberals seeking to alter language and police thought wish to refer to both male and female table attendants in restaurants as waiters, as an expression of their desire to wipe all out distinctions between male and female. Some have even coined the "word" waitron to show their abhorrence of gender distinction!

The term server is now used as a "gender-neutral" term, though ironically this word derives from the gendered Latin servitor (masculine). The feminine term in Latin is servitrix.

Liberal brain Well, to be technically correct (which Conservapedia doesn't seem overly concerned with), it comes from the Latin root servire, which means to serve. As with many languages, there are different forms denoting gender, and in some languages, like German, nouns have gender, which is indicated by the article used before it: der Mann, die Frau, das Buch. What cracked me up about this was the fact that whoever wrote that entry seemed morally outraged that Liberals (note the capital L) seem poised to wipe out the distinction between genders! And then there's "waitron." Seriously? Have any of you ever heard one single person say, "Oh waitron...could I get a glass of water, please?" Where do they come up with this stuff? I posted this on Facebook, and some of the comments were hilarious, including words like vagenus, vagitron, and skank. Nicely done, Commenters!

Then there was the entry on "liberal style." (The picture above, of a “socialist brain,” actually appeared on the Conservapedia site. While captioned as a satiric representation, it seemed a little out of place on a site that purports to be an encyclopedic reference.) I'd like to think I have a sense of style, but the Conservapedia take on it seemed to be more about behavior than style. It was a lengthy list of infractions, so I'll pick and choose some of my favorites of the liberal style characteristics, with my commentary in red:

  • A never-ending need for attention (e.g., Hollywood types and politicians Bill Clinton and Chuck Schumer)
    • Yes, those Hollywood types...can you believe they want attention? You'd think that they thrive on publicity or something. ::rolling eyes::
  • A high word-to-substance ratio, as in using many words to say little of substance (e.g., Obama and the 90/10 rule here)
    • There's that wordiness again. Should we start leaving out adjectives, prepositions, what have you? Would that help?
  • Feign offense as a way to silence criticism, or censor prayer and conservative viewpoints (e.g., ACLU)
    • Yes, every complaint levied uses feigned criticism; that's where the Hollywood types come in...ACTING!
  • Pretend to know more than he does; Isaac Newton admitted that he knew almost nothing, yet a liberal pretends to know much (e.g., Al Gore)
    • I object to the use of "he" in this! This is gender specific, and I am feigning deep offense! Hey, was Sir Isaac a conservative?
  • Demands answers to questions, but after receiving answers then the liberal himself tries to avoid answering similar questions
    • We're sneaky that way, in demanding answers.
  • Refuses to admit the truth in debate, even if a conservative compromises in a conciliatory manner
    • Sometimes there is no compromise. Sorry.
  • Like to use the phrase "reflects poorly on the site" when talking about the liberal articles on Conservapedia
    • Considering that I only learned of this site yesterday, I don't think you're all that high on our radar, Conservapedia. This seems rather self-serving.
  • A lack of originality and a predominance of copying and imitating
    • Huh?
  • Call something disliked a "conspiracy theory," but don't use that term against wacky liberal theories like global warming
    • Oh, that wacky global warming!
  • Respond with "sigh" when presented with repeated examples of harm caused by liberal culture, yet persist in denying the harm despite overwhelming evidence
    • ::sigh:: (How could I resist?)
  • Thinking in terms of what someone likes or doesn't like, or has or doesn't have, or belongs or doesn't belong
    • Again, I say Huh? Setting aside the twisted grammar...isn't that kind of how you think in order to determine if there is a problem? I.e., 45 million Americans don't have health care; I don't like it; and such a travesty does not belong in our country, so let's see what we can do to fix that. Is that what they're talking about here?
  • Insistence on talking more and having the last word in a discussion or debate, or last wordism
    • Nuh-uh.
  • An obsession with and exaggeration of artificial scarcity, such as wealth, rather than focusing on creating more
    • "Artificial" scarcity? I wonder what the roughly 13% of the US population, over 39 million people, who are living in poverty would have to say about that "artificial" scarcity?
  • Calling conservative free speech "hate" speech
    • Only when it's hateful.
  • Preference for obscenity and profanity
    • Fuck, yeah!
  • Over-reliance on mockery
    • You mean like this entry? Fair enough.
  • Believing that conservatives will fail, and refusing to accept when they succeed, as when George W. Bush won in 2000
    • And then proceeded to fail for the next eight years.
  • Using hyperbole instead of fact-based logic in an attempt to tug at people's emotions rather than appealing to their sense of reason
    • I think this is the most outrageous thing I've ever heard! I am deeply offended, and I don't know how I can go on.
  • Often long-winded and verbose, and in debates liberals often consume more than their fair share of the alloted [sic] time, leaving less time for the other side
    • I think we've addressed this already. Why do you keep bringing it up?
  • Dismissing legitimate criticism as "a joke"
    • Hey, I can't help it that some of this makes me laugh.
  • Denying something widely known to be true but difficult to prove, such as observing that men are far more likely to work in gas stations than women.
    • ...Wha...? See the item above.
  • Using non sequiturs in argument, such as responding to the point [snip] that liberals over-rely on accusations of hypocrisy by citing an example of conservatives' observing liberal hypocrisy. But their example does not help their argument. Quite the contrary, use of that example tends to prove that liberals do over-rely on accusations of hypocrisy (relativism). Think about that.
    • Okay, I will....
    • I'm done. Now what?
  • Inability or unwillingness to differentiate between genuine conservative arguments and parodies of conservative arguments

Liberals I think my absolute favorite thing, though, was the Lenski Dialogue. This was my favorite because it dealt with Microbiology. Professor Richard Lenski and his associates conducted a 20-year study on mutations in the E. coli bacterium. You read that right—20 years of research on a single project. When Lenski posted it on Conservapedia, Andy Schlafly questioned his data (despite having no training in Microbiology) and an exchange of letters ensued. (Lenski's research proved a significant mutation in the bacterium, which has definite implications on evolution, something to which Schlafly gives no credence.) To give Conservapedia credit, they have also posted the four letters that were exchanged; the Wikipedia article provides background and further discussion of the incident. If you read nothing else, at least read the letters. Dr. Lenski's letter is one of the single best scientific smackdowns I think I've ever seen—and I am not being hyperbolic.

What bothers me most about this Conservapedia site is that it doesn't even pretend to be comprehensive or rational in its entries. A respected professor with years of research experience is subjected to the rather rude questioning of someone (Schlafly) whose self-listed qualifications include "teacher of pre-college students." Would that be high school? Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it does not constitute the qualifications or knowledge necessary to interpret complex laboratory data and methods.

Conservapedia is only marginally about facts. It is primarily about political ideology…an encyclopedia in sheep's clothing.

Stay tuned for more entries about fascinating things like waitrons.

18 comments:

  1. Ha! An encyclopedia in sheeps clothing, love it. Your selections were very funny :o)

    ReplyDelete
  2. As someone who was a waitron all through college, I am offended by the name. it sounds both robotic and sub-human to me.
    That said, I am glad it's you giving us the Conservapedia updates and run-throughs. If I went to their site without your asides my head might actually explode!

    Carry on, Evil Twin!
    >=)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're gonna get a visit from the whiney, little, home-schooled polyp who created that insult to reality. I believe Andy Schlafly (his mother is the troll Phillis) likes to annoy people into taking down their criticisms of that joke site.

    Oh, and here's a little more on Lenski's epic smackdown of Conservap├Ždia:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/lenski_gives_conservapdia_a_le.php

    I imagine little Andy, after being thoroughly mocked by Colbert, as well as a huge chunk of the population, is wailing his little eyes out in a piss-soaked corner somewhere. I have absolutely no respect for that slimy, little prick, and I hope the recent PR disaster at the hands of his little collection of god-whalloping retards has caused him a great deal of pain and woe. I can think of no one more deserving.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting read, might have to check it out? If I don't it's a good thing people like you can. It could possibly cause me to break my laptop from tears of laughter. Thanks for the entry and have a good day tomorrow.
    P&L
    Wes

    ReplyDelete
  5. No, you don't amuse me, Beth. Having said that, you can make fun of a book, but why not consider discussing REAL issues pertaining to our nation at present? How about the health care rationing that will occur if anything similar to the current health care bill passes? Yes, if anything similar to the present Senate version of the health care bill passes, rationing will occur, bc the top 10% of healthcare providers who cause the most expenditures are slated to be fined. If you don't understand the repercussions of fining the top 10%, or how it would cause rationing, just take a few minutes to think about it. Ask yourself the following: Would you like to be under a system at a time when, say, you found a lump somewhere in your body, but didn't know if your healthcare providers would diagnose and treat you, bc if they did, they would risk being fined by the govt for making too many expenditures? Can you support such a system, knowing it could harm you or a family member? If you supported this system, it would mean you'd have to be willing, perhaps, to wait a few months (or longer) to receive diagnostic testing and treatment (even if you needed treatment that was timely such as chemo). Answer me honestly, how likely would you then be to follow such "reform," knowing a family member may die bc of it? I know not what you would do, but as for me and my house, we're not following the Liberals on this bandwagon. Instead, let's all get together to defeat the present bill, and instead provide real health care reform. God forbid we have anything remotely resembling the current healthcare bill, and for a lot more reasons than impending rationing. There are so many reasons this bill should be defeated, but it's too late for me to go into that now, it's after 4 am. And I guess I've had enough of substance for the moment. Oh, and btw, the neutral gender form of waiter has become, well, waiter. ;)

    krissy knox
    connect w me on twitter:
    http://twitter.com/iamkrissy

    ReplyDelete
  6. You should know.
    I will be waiting very patiently today for your thoughts on the Nobel Peace Prize.....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Glad you could bring the highlights, for I am sure I myself would not last long on the sight, losing the humor and finding the need to shout at my monitor!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I marvel at your blogs. They are always informative, funny and whatever else they are. I enjoy reading them.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beth, this is an awesome post. It truly does amaze me how conservatives are so scared of diversity in thought and action, that they have to spend time on such trivial things. Honestly, I want my "L" patch! I will wear it proudly. And the conservatives can keep their dunce hats firmly on their heads. If you look up "Dunce Hat" on Conservapedia, you'll see a crown!

    If you have never watched the series ":Why do People Laugh at Creationists" on You Tube, you should. It's wonderfully produced and actually uses facts and evidence to support scientific claims. http://www.youtube.com/user/Thunderf00t.

    Krissy,you should stop repeating lies and distortions that you hear from those who don't want to change anything, and actually study the facts for yourself. Your argument here is flawed. You are committing a fallacy of logic called "jumping to conclusions". There is absolutely no evidence to support your claim that a change will result in health care rationing. Furthermore, there is no evidence to support that if we did have rationing, the scenario you describe would actually happen. If you explore the facts, you will see that we already do ration health care, based on income, not need. We're trying to expand the rationing so that everyone gets healthcare.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Conservapedia is the most ridiculous, damaging, wrong-headed balderdash in the whole entire Universe. Hyperbole? Fuck! [Sigh....]

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beth Terrific post! So much fun! I'm looking forward to future Conservapedia updates and your witty, corresponding commentary.

    ReplyDelete
  12. i love you like family but my head hurts too much right now to grasp all of this....all the big words!! lol as always, i agree with what you say. Neither party is perfect but it has always seemed to me that the Republicans play dirty till it hits their house and then they want it all swept under the carpet. We all have the freedom of speech but it is irritating to see such baloney written online and said in the U.S. about those who do not deserve things like that said about them.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post, Beth! Love your commentaries! You rock!

    ReplyDelete
  14. See, reading this makes me angry, not laugh. I want to shake the shit out of these people. And then shake them some more. They give "normal" conservatives a bad name. It makes their entire republican party look batshit crazy. I hated that Bush won - twice - however, I NEVER wanted him to fail. Him failing, meant the US as a whole, failing. Wanting that would be idiotic. I cannot possibly understand the train of thought in these types of people. And at least half of the parts you quoted, made me think of most conservatives, NOT liberals. However, just about any politician is long winded, just sayin'.
    Love,
    Jamie

    ReplyDelete
  15. And to Krissy... if you don't HAVE insurance, and you find a lump, what exactly do you expect one to do? You are quite frankly, fucked. You can go in and have a bunch of expensive tests, not knowing if there's even anything wrong, find out there isn't anything wrong and have a hellfied bill. Or, put off going till it gets to the point that you decide you MUST go, only to find that you waited too long and are going to die. I don't know how I feel about the bill exactly, HOWEVER, SOMETHING needs to be done.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Beth, This is so funny. And your comments are hilarious. I'm so glad Lelocolon found me because now I've found you, and the others you know who have visited me.

    I can understand how Conservapedia could enrage some people. We're fighting a battle here and it's serious. But when you're in enemy territory isn't it great to find so many things to snicker about?

    Stan turned me on to them and now you've given me something to look forward to. So carry on, Beth. Great job skewering.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Only on the rare occasions do I read other's comments ... and first thing after reading these that comes to mind is a question.

    Krissy ... were you high when you responded to this post??m Good thing for Jamie and Stan ...

    My major concern is that stuff like this site does garner significant penetration into the national consciousness. That would be very troubling.

    ReplyDelete
  18. @Stan @Jamie and @Mark No, I wasn't high when I wrote what I did. I don't do drugs, LOL. Never have in my life, never will. I'l leave that for others... @Stan, what you call distortions, certainly are not. When I commented on this post, I READ the original House Bill (Chairman's Mark -- The Baucus Bill) online. It was not an interpretation of it from some 'right wing rag sheet' or something, but the actual bill. Have you read that bill, or any of the House Bills (there were 3 versions)? Did you read the House Bill that finally passed? Or are you just speaking from nowhere? Go ahead and follow the actual Senate Bill this time, as it travels through the debates, there's ACTUAL TV coverage of some of the debate. I'm not talking about TV and news coverage DISCUSSING the debate or making of the Bill, but the actual debate and the actual Senate Bill (which will have to reconcile itself with the House Bill). And if you believe you can find a REPUTABLE source for news, use that also. Finally ATTEMPT TO ACTUALLY READ THE ACTUAL BILL, or PARTS OF IT, before you speak about it, and don't ASSUME others haven't, before you accuse them of READING PROPOGANDA and DISTORTIONS from a group. I don't have time to listen to distortions and propaganda, this is too serious of an issue not to make up my own mind on such a SERIOUS ISSUE as health care.

    Furthermore, I never said we didn't need SOME form of health care reform. Many GOPers believe we do. I'm not sure. I do believe however, we don't need THIS form.

    As you read one of the last House Bills (H.R. 3962IH)-- which was written, if i am not mistaken after the Baucus Bill -- you will note that there IS STILL rationing involved. To check this out, please read the bill until you come to this section: SEC. 325. PROVIDER PARTICIPATION. (I can't give you the link to the bill online, LOL, which I was just reading, bc my browser just disappeared. Darn this Vista Home Premium Version of Vista!) Just scroll down to SEC 325. PROVIDER PARTICIPATION. As a matter of fact, reader starting sections 322 and you will see more of the bigger picture, and how the rationing will work, and how doctors who don't agree to get the same pay as all other doctors will have their pay cut, resulting no doubt, in rationing, bc for each payment the doctor receives, he will lose some pay for charging. I'm imagining it will be a total percentage. This will CERTAINLY result in rationing!

    READ THE BILL PEOPLE, IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE WHAT I AM SAYING. I just did... You have to read to nearly the bottom of it to find it... But it's not that hard when you want to find information for yourself!!!

    Beth, thank you for allowing me to leave my comment. And thanks for allowing it to remain. Yes, it is your blog, but you have let others respond to my initial comment by posting comments, and I am only responding back. Because you have let others post their comments, I am sure you won't have a problem w letting me post mine, as you are a fair person, right? At any rate, I am copying and saving the comments I make in your blog, lest they somehow accidentally disappear. ;) Thank you for allowing me to post my comments. No, I am not flaming or trolling, I am commenting, and leaving FACTS. God bless you, and thank you for allowing me to leave comments. :)

    krissy knox :)

    ReplyDelete

I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?