Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bill Maher vs. Common Sense

Bill Maher has declared that the Republican Party is at war with common sense. “I think Republicans live in a world now where whatever a liberal says, no matter how sensible, is automatically evil, wrong, and needs to be fought with the fervor of a starving raccoon on crystal meth,” he said during a recent New Rules segment on his HBO show Real Time.

You know what’s the worst part about Bill Maher?

It’s not that he bashes Republicans. They have been wrong on many issues (Patriot Act, WMDs, waterboarding, oil subsidies) and Maher is perfectly justified in bashing them because of it—though to him, Republicans are always wrong and liberals like himself are always right. And to be perfectly honest, that’s not the worst part about him either. We all think we’re right about something, especially when it comes to politics, so why should we expect anything different from a liberal snob like Maher?

The problem isn’t that he believes he’s right and everyone else is wrong. The problem is when he believes he is right when he clearly isn’t! As with other self-appointed “rationalists,” Maher considers himself to be an exemplar of logic, reason, and evidence, even though he believes many things which are illogical, irrational, and without evidence. So for Maher to claim to advocate rationality while criticizing others for their irrationality, not only is it hypocritical of him, but also a disgrace to the very concept of rationality. It’s like someone who believes 2+2=5 claiming to advocate mathematics while criticizing others for their poor math skills.

With that said, here are ten ways Bill Maher is at war with common sense:

10. Race-Baiting. As with other libtarded moonbats, Maher loves to paint the Republican Party—the same party that ended slavery and segregation—as racist, but sometimes he performs serious mental gymnastics in order to race-bait them. For instance, following an altercation on an airplane between Mitt Romney and LMFAO’s Sky Blu (an altercation where Sky Blu, having swung his fists at Romney, was clearly the aggressor), Maher suggested that the incident occurred because “Mormons traditionally have not had a great relation with the black people.” That’s right: Romney “attacked” Sky Blu, not because the rapper annoyed him by having his seat back when it was supposed to be up, but because the rapper was black and he was Mormon—and as we all know, the Mormon Church has historically hated black people. To quote the comedian Bill Engvall, “Not even Evel Knievel could have made that leap!” Had the rapper been a white guy like Eminem, Maher wouldn’t have made such a ridiculous assumption; yet because the rapper was black, Maher assumes he was the victim of racism. (Though has Maher even seen Sky Blu? The guy looks whiter than a slice of white bread drenched in whole milk!)

9. Violent Rhetoric. Following the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by crazed gunman Jared Lee Loughner, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin removed from her website a map with crosshairs over Democratic districts—one of which was Giffords'. This allowed many libtarded moonbats like Maher to accuse her of instigating the shooting with her “violent rhetoric.” As Maher claimed, “the go to rhetoric for [the right-wing] is 'wouldn't it be fun to kill the people we disagree with.'” Never mind, of course, that Loughner was inconsistent in his political views (being a fan of both Mein Kampf AND the Communist Manifesto). Never mind that he was a registered Independent who didn't vote in the 2010 election. Never mind that he never watched the news or listened to talk radio (so how could he be exposed to "violent rhetoric"?). Never mind that Arizona authorities admit violent rhetoric had nothing to do with the shooting. And never mind that few Americans blame violent rhetoric for the shooting. Obviously, Palin caused the shooting with her map (which looks similar to one used by Democrats, only with bulls-eyes instead of targets). And of course, Maher is one to preach about civility. This is the same man who called Sarah Palin a "cunt" and "dumb twat," called the Tea Party movement a cult, wished the Pentagon shooter had killed Glenn Beck, accused President Obama of not acting like a "real black man," and suggested that Democrats treat Republicans like Tiger Woods wanted to treat his mistress. (Oh, and he also claimed that liberals aren't as mean as conservatives!)

8. Anti-Homeschooling. I’m no fan of Rick “Frothy Mix” Santorum, but when Maher accused him of keeping his children ignorant by homeschooling them, I took great offense to that, having been homeschooled myself. Using Santroum’s religion against him, Maher argued that “it's no coincidence that the type of tree which god forbade Adam and Eve eating from was the Tree of Knowledge. Rick Santorum homeschools his children because he does not want them eating that f--king apple. He wants them locked up in the Christian madrassa that is the family living room not out in public where they could be infected by the virus of reason.” What Maher fails to realize is that home-schooled children, far from being stupid, statistically outperform their public-schooled peers. For instance, the 2009 Homeschool Progress Report found that home-schooled students scored higher that the norm on standardized tests and exceeded the national average in subjects like language arts, math, and social studies. But hey, why trust statistics when you can trust Maher’s wit? Perhaps we should go one step further and ban homeschooling like they did in Brazil—which I hear has excellent education!

7. PETA. Reasonable minds can disagree whether or not killing animals is immoral (though “pro-death” Bill seems to believe killing human beings through the death penalty, euthanasia, and abortion is perfectly moral). But even if Maher believed animals deserve the same rights as human beings, why would he associate himself with PETA—the Westboro Baptist Church of animal rights? Let’s ignore that the organization hypes non-issues such as Obama swatting a fly or Super Mario having a raccoon-suit power up. Let’s ignore that their leader Ingrid Newkirk, being one card short of a full deck, requested in her will that her corpse be cooked in a human barbeque, her skin made into leather purses, her feet made into umbrella stands, and her liver shipped to France to protest liver pate. PETA isn’t just insane. It’s criminally insane! PETA opposes animal testing—the very cornerstone of modern medicine (though Maher doesn’t care for modern medicine, let alone animal testing). And despite decrying the euthanasia of animals in shelters, the organization has euthanized more animals that it has saved. But perhaps their worst offense was granting over $45 thousand to eco-terrorist Rodney Coronado, the convicted arsonist responsible for the 1992 arson attack on Michigan State University research facilities. Supporting animal welfare is a noble cause, but when your organization supports direct action (i.e.: terrorism) to pursue their goals, you might want to reconsider sitting on their board, especially if you value “common sense.”

6. SOPA. When Congress was considering the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that would have allowed the federal government to shut down websites that contain—or even link to—copyrighted material, it was no shock that it was largely supported by the entertainment industry and by entertainers like Bill Maher (though that’s only if you consider Maher “entertaining”). Maher supported the bill (which he admitted he had not read) because his documentary Religulous had allegedly lost profit due to internet piracy— which he called “Caucasian looting” (which implies that most other “looting” is done by “non-Caucasians”). He then argued that “just because you’re sitting at your computer in your pajama bottoms doesn’t mean you’re not stealing.” But contrary to popular misconception, internet piracy isn’t really stealing as it involves intellectual property rather than physical property. If someone shoplifts a DVD from a store, the store loses a DVD; but if someone downloads a movie, neither the store nor the movie company loses the movie. They may have lost potential profit from DVD sales, but they did not lose anything else. Downloading a movie or song is “stealing” the same way making a photocopy of a book page is “stealing.” The ironic part is that Maher supports the Occupy Wall Street movement, which protects “the 99%” against the “1%”; but by supporting SOPA, he is supporting a bill that protects profit for the entertainment industry (the 1%) while hurting everyone else (the 99%).

5. Death Penalty. While most other libtarded moonbats support abortion and euthanasia but oppose the death penalty, Maher is consistently “pro-death” in that he supports all three. “I think capital punishment works great," he once said. “Every killer you kill never kills again.” Maher assumes the death penalty deters violent crime. It does not! States that have the death penalty actually have the highest homicide rates. And aside from failing to deter homicide, the death penalty actually costs more than life imprisonment. California alone spent $4 billion executing 13 death row inmates over the past 33 years—that's $303 million for each inmate, $184 million more per year than just sentencing them to life without parole! (And 78 death row inmates have died while on death row, making their death penalties pointless.) But hey, at least those killers never kill again, right Bill?

4. Gun Control. Despite being “pro-death,” Maher is anti-gun. He supports gun control and opposes gun rights and anyone who supports them, especially the NRA, which he has called the “Assassin’s Lobby.” He has blamed lack of gun control for both the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and the murder of Trayvon Martin—claiming in regards to the latter that “this is what happens in America when one political party, in this case, the Democrats, completely rolls over on an issue, in this case, gun control.” Maher assumes that stricter gun laws would prevent violent crime. But just as the death penalty does not deter murder, gun control does not prevent violent crime, as cities with the strictest gun laws like Chicago and Washington D.C. also have the highest violent crime rates. And while many argue that gun-free zones would have prevented the school shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech, the irony is that both schools already had gun-free zones in place at the time of the shootings. Stricter gun laws never make us safer; they only make us less safe and less free. So as Benjamin Franklin once said, those that trade liberty for security truly receive neither.

3. 9/11. Maher may speak out against the irrationality of 9/11 conspiracy theories (even enduring heckles and boos from truthers in his audience), but that doesn’t make him completely rational about 9/11. On his former show Politically Incorrect, weeks after the terrorist attacks, one of his guests, Dinesh D'Souza, disputed Bush's claim that the terrorists were cowards, arguing that they were warriors instead. Maher agreed, replying, “We have been the cowards lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly.” So let me get this straight: the brave men and women fighting the radicals overseas are cowardly, but those same radicals flying planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon, killing nearly three thousand innocent Americans, aren't? Makes sense to me! The good news is that Maher received so much backlash for those comments that his show was cancelled; the bad news is that he received his new show on HBO!

2. Alternative Medicine. While most people trust their health with modern medicine, Bill Maher does not. This is mostly due to his paranoid delusion that the pharmaceutical industry has conspired with the government to keep people sick in order to create profit; and as such, they have outlawed alternative treatments to prevent competition. On one Overtime segment, he claimed that practicing alternative medicine in America is illegal. (Not only is alternative medicine legal, but many states require insurance to cover it!) This led to a discussion about alternative cancer treatments such as Laetrile: “I don’t know whether Laetrile works. I know the shit we've tried for the last 50 years doesn't. I know they've made no progress as far as cancer in this country.” First of all, numerous scientific studies have proven that Laetrile doesn’t work; and second, the survival rate for cancer has significantly increased over the last 50 years—so it’s safe to say we’ve made progress. The saddest part is that, for his documentary Religulous, Maher won the 2009 Richard Dawkins Award, which is conferred to individuals whose works “advocate increased scientific knowledge.” As one medical blogger wrote: “That's like Jenny McCarthy getting an award for public health.”

1. Anti-Vaccination. Considering his disdain for modern medicine, it should come as no surprise that Maher also hates vaccinations. He argues that, unlike evolution or global warming, vaccination is not a settled science. So to him, man-made global warming is a settled science—despite having no scientific consensus; but vaccination isn’t—despite having universal scientific consensus. His rejection of vaccination stems from his rejection of Pasteur’s germ theory (also a settled science), which he claims Pasteur recanted on his death bed. But even if Pasteur recanted his theory (which he didn’t), that would not prove it false, as the scientific method has verified it time and again. He argues that flu shots contain mercury (even though the mercury in them is less toxic than the mercury which can be obtained by eating fish), and that taking them “more than five years in a row” makes one ten times more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. What evidence does Maher have to support this? None, of course! The irony is that believing in something without evidence is faith—something that Maher has railed against, especially when it comes to religion. But apparently, he will make an exception for faith in believing vaccines are poison.

In conclusion, Maher considers himself to be a free-thinking skeptic and rationalist, yet believes vaccines are poison, modern medicine makes people sicker, the 9/11 terrorists were brave, gun control prevents violent crime, capital punishment deters murder, the federal government needs to control the internet to prevent entertainment industry profits, terrorism in defense of animal rights is justified, homeschooling makes children stupid, Sarah Palin was responsible for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, and Mitt Romney “assaulted” a rapper for being black. If anything, Maher is the one at war with common sense.