It’s Settled Then: Ben Carson Is An Idiot

ben-carsonNot that there was all that much doubt, after hearing about his theories that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain, and recognizing that any intelligent man would realize that giving a popular prayer breakfast speech and being a neurosurgeon no more qualifies someone to run for President of the United States than being a crossword puzzle champion or an airplane pilot. Nonetheless, his statement today ends any benefit of the doubt Carson had due to him. There is no doubt. He’s a dolt, and its obvious enough that we must assume anyone supporting him must also be a dolt.

Today, talking about the Syrian refugees in Alabama, Gentle Ben said...he really did…

“If there’s a rabid dog running around in your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog. And you’re probably going to put your children out of the way. That doesn’t mean that you hate all dogs.”

Signature significance. Ben Carson knows that Democrats are characterizing as racism and bigotry—as the Geico ads would say, “if you’re a Democrat, that’s what you do”—legitimate concerns about the likelihood of allowing terrorists into the country along with refugees who come from the Land of ISIS. Nevertheless, Carson still compares the Syrian refugees to dogs (the rabies would be the terrorists.). I know Ben isn’t a lawyer—he isn’t smart enough to be a lawyer, and trust me, it’s not that high a bar—but the statement isn’t just stupidly offensive, it’s not even an accurate or well-constructed analogy. I made the correct version of that analogy here:

“The proper analogy is admitting a refugee population with members suffering from a highly-communicable, infectious, incurable and fatal disease. No responsible government would risk bringing a plague into its population without being able to make certain—certain—that none of the refugees carried it. Thus there would be a quarantine period imposed on the refugees showing no symptoms, and those infected would not be allowed to enter the U.S. population at all. This is the same situation, except that the infectious, fatal, incurable contagion is radical Islam.”

Carson’s got this all bollixed up. First of all, the refugees aren’t dogs, which is an offensive comparison and does betray a bigoted attitude. Second, one can easily identify rapid dogs, and we can’t identify terrorists, who don’t foam at the mouth and bite people. Nobody, including Obama, would accuse anyone of hating all Syrians if they took action against a proven terrorist.

Being able to construct good and revealing analogies means that one has critical thinking skills. Ben can’t, and doesn’t. On top of that, knowing that Democrats are waiting around the clock to play the racial bias card against any Republican candidate and then by slime all Republicans with it, he represents Syrians and Muslims as sub-human—dogs—anyway! Immediately, all the liberal outlets leaped on it, and he should have known that would happen, too. (Oddly, none of the conservative news sources thought it was newsworthy.)

He’s an idiot.

Case closed

“But Jack,” you might well say, “how can you deride the good doctor when this wasn’t even the dumbest thing said by a Presidential candidate today?” For it is true that Hillary Clinton said this:

“Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

Wowsers. I agree, that’s quite a statement. It’s funny that Muslims have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism, given that so many people have been killed by guns, bombs, beheadings and airplanes by Muslims engaged in acts of terror. Or are all the terrorists pretending to be Muslims? If that’s it, they are doing a damn good job pretending.

By the way, this ridiculous statement was reported by all the right-wing outlets like Fox and Brietbart, but none of the mainstream media. See why we need both?

Now, I believe this statement, which is indeed  idiotic on its face, is not as bad as the Carson idiot-outing. It was a mistake: Hillary wanted to say that the religion of Islam had nothing to do with terrorism, which is still not right but close enough for horseshoes or Hillary. She said Muslims instead because the woman cannot talk without making gaffes. Maybe she has a problem, maybe she gets nervous, maybe when you’re trying to keep so many lies straight it scrambles your brain: I wouldn’t know. True, if you listen to the slow, expressionless, programmed, robotic way she read today’s alleged statement of her ISIS policy, you would think she was being careful: how could she make a mistake? The other interpretation is that this is the next stage in Obama’s terrorism denial strategy. He won’t call ISIS “Islamic extremists,” and now Hillary’s going to deny that they are even Muslims, a kind of “No True Muslim” tactic. That’s a possible explanation; after all, then what she said is just lying, and Hillary does that without thinking.

She, at least, can think.

Ben Carson can’t.

21 thoughts on “It’s Settled Then: Ben Carson Is An Idiot

  1. “The legislation requires the FBI director, the secretary of Homeland Security, and the director of National Intelligence to certify that each Syrian (or Iraqi) refugee doesn’t present a security risk. And then the DHS inspector general has to go through all of the approvals, too.”

    Here’s the current situation:

    “The process begins with a referral from UNHCR. The U.N.’s refugee agency is responsible for registering some 15 million asylum seekers around the world, and providing aid and assistance until they are resettled abroad or (more likely) returned home once conditions ease. The registration process includes in-depth refugee interviews, home country reference checks and biological screening such as iris scans. Military combatants are weeded out.

    Among those who pass background checks, a small percentage are referred for overseas resettlement based on criteria designed to determine the most vulnerable cases. This group may include survivors of torture, victims of sexual violence, targets of political persecution, the medically needy, families with multiple children and a female head of household.

    Our government performs its own intensive screening, a process that includes consultation from nine different government agencies. They meet weekly to review a refugee’s case file and, if appropriate, determine where in the U.S. the individual should be placed. …Among the agencies involved are the State Department, the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. A DHS officer conducts in-person interviews with every applicant. Biometric information such as fingerprints are collected and matched against criminal databases. Biographical information such as past visa applications are scrutinized to ensure the applicant’s story coheres.

    Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the U.S. has admitted some 750,000 refugees. None have been arrested on domestic terrorism charges, though two—a pair of Iraqis in Kentucky—were charged with terrorist activities connected to aiding al-Qaeda.”

    What’s new is the heads of these departments having to personally check each individual case and sign off. I would expect they’d be able to cope with 1-2 cases per week if they do it properly, though of course they can’t be running their departments while they’re doing that.

    This is BS.

  2. I object to the idea that an analogy in which people correspond to animals is necessarily insulting the intelligence of the people. Carson was merely trying to illustrate the idea of avoiding generalizations, a principle which applies just as well to dogs as it does to people, and personhood is irrelevant to the analogy. I consider it irrational for people to hold that he actually regards Syrians as on par with dogs based on his statement.

    That said, being that most voters are pathologically irrational, it was still a politically incompetent analogy, and a naively inaccurate one to boot, as you point out. I most certainly would be wary of all dogs if rabid dogs looked just like any other dog, and were known for causing explosions in densely populated areas.

    • You missed the point. It’s not intelligence, it’s just that its a lower species—you know, like slaveowners regarded blacks as sub-human. Or the Godfather (“They’re animals anayway, so let them lose their souls”) On this planet, comparing women, blacks, Hispanics or any minority to any animal is per se degrading and insensitive, and every politician knows it, or should. A Florida House member who sloppily compared giving welfare to the poor with feeding alligators, bears and other wild animals (they lose the ability to feed themselves!) was almost run out of the state on a rail a while back.

      • Intelligence, species “level”… I don’t see the difference. Carson’s admonishment against generalizing doesn’t rely on people being on the same level as dogs. Carson could have used trees, or automobiles, and it would have made as much sense. More, even. He does violate the principles of reputation mindset (strategy combined with empathy) by juxtaposing people and dogs while addressing an analytically-challenged audience, because they can’t deal with the cognitive dissonance it causes for them. Plus, of course, his analogy doesn’t even work.

        On the other hand, the example you just gave regarding feeding wild animals does rely on a similarity between people and animals, and one that I would argue does exist, and not just for poor people: like other animals, humans have a tendency to get soft and complacent when they don’t have an incentive to put forth effort. Humans are a quantum leap above pretty much all other animals in terms of consciousness, but don’t start distancing your species from its heritage too much on the basis of being offended, lest you lose sight of the primal instincts you have yet to overcome.

        That said, the example is still a terrible argument against welfare, because wild animals die when they can’t feed themselves, and even animal rights activists don’t care about that. But people (myself included) do desire that people in general don’t die when they can’t feed themselves, and therein lies a good reason for welfare to exist. On the other hand, to avoid complacency, there should also be some clear paths and incentives to start contributing to society again.

        As an analysis user in a world dominated by analysis-illiterates, I often wind up confusing people by disagreeing with their reasoning while simultaneously agreeing with their conclusion. I confuse people even more when I disagree with their opponents’ reasoning (and consider their opponents stupid because of it), but agree with their opponents’ conclusion based on my own reasoning. I don’t see what’s so hard to understand about it, but if people could grasp the concept, they wouldn’t be using so much faulty reasoning in the first place.

        “On this planet, comparing women, blacks, Hispanics or any minority to any animal is per se degrading and insensitive”

        There are differences between A) asserting that a group of humans is closer to animal-level than oneself based on prejudice; B) asserting that a group of humans is closer to animal-level than oneself based on their demonstrated character (e.g. “party animals”, social pecking orders, political partisans, et cetera); C) noting that a group of humans demonstrates similarities to animals without implying anything about their “level,” e.g. humans who use a method of stalking prey that they learned from observing animals; D) noting that animal characteristics common to humans in general are showing themselves in a particular group of humans due to their environmental factors, when the same thing would happen to most any humans under those conditions; E) using an example with animals to illustrate a principle of rationality which applies equally well to humans for reasons that have nothing to do with species “level.”

        It is only foolish to make the last four of these statements because ignorant human audiences without the ability to differentiate ideas (and which crave an enemy to serve as a scapegoat) will perceive all of them as being just as wrong as the first. I’ve spent enough time among humans to see this sort of thing first hand, and it always freaks me out when I get a glimpse of how far away from animals you aren’t.

          • I came to the conclusion long ago that I wouldn’t be remotely plausible as a politician. I’m sure EC is in the same boat. Which puts me at least one level above Carson.

          • You mean a career in telling people I can magically solve all their problems unless the evil other team tries to stop me? Yeah, I’ll pass.

            I really want a politician to say in a speech, “Many of the problems you want me to solve cannot be solved by policy alone. For any solution to work, it will take concerted effort on the part of the public–you–to think and act differently, to forfeit your limitations. You want me to fix the economy? You are the economy! All of you!”

  3. She can’t think. We have e-mail that her team tried frantically to hide stating that she is easily confused. She CAN reflexively lie and obfuscate. Carson can think, he just has trouble thinking politically. Given the choice I’d vote for someone else, but between him and Hillary it’s not even close. And the reason is he is smart enough to find smart conservative people who love America and listen to them. Something you can’t say about Hillary or Obama, or, for that matter, Trump.

  4. On top of that, knowing that Democrats are waiting around the clock to play the racial bias card against any Republican candidate and then by slime all Republicans with it, he represents Syrians and Muslims as sub-human—dogs—anyway!

    Not dogs, you’re behind the times. Vermin. Snakes. Japs

    “I’m reminded that Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.” – Virginia Mayor David A. Bowers

    You don’t “slime” anyone just by quoting their genuine beliefs, their fully in context words. And the hysteria has gone bipartisan now, DNC and GOP politicians at all levels are competing to see how “think of the children” they can be, while doing nothing against real threats.

  5. Clinton can think? No, she schemes, always with an ulterior motivation smoke screened as another purpose.

    Ebola Barry did that, done that disease scenario, which was so devoid of CAREFUL dotting of each i, crossing of each t. Hmmm, so the infected ones, at home, even before quarantined, passed their #2 in toilet, which swished thru sanitary system to slosh pit, often grazed upon by rats, mice, other varmints, sometimes eaten by larger wild animals & by our pets, AND HANDLED BY SANITATION WORKERS or plumbers with no clue that breathing or contacting the lethalist defacation specimen contaminated them, & then everyone they’d contaminate, who’d contaminate others & you’d WISH to get into the pyramids, with your crockery & sealed earthenware filled with enough famine lasting grains & ride out the rage until it was safe to come out.
    Always a logical explanation for everything, no matter who says it & why, with the most beguiling inspiration: OR why?

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