06 October 2015

Quote for the day -- she knows too much

"There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world.

"It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.

"One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.

"And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.

"Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.

"When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.

"While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.

"Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership."

Carly Fiorina, 26 September 2001

While it's a pleasant surprise to find a Republican who has some awareness of history, I can just imagine the reaction of the rank-and-file wingnut base when one of her opponents in the battle for the Presidential nomination runs across this and drags it out to use against her.  They'll have her being born in Kenya before they're done.


Blogger Ahab said...

It was shocked that such a speech came from Fiorina. She was somewhat enlightened once -- what happened!?

06 October, 2015 04:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

What happened? She got into republican politics, I guess.

06 October, 2015 04:23  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"She was somewhat enlightened once -- what happened!?"

What happened? She needs the Stupid vote. Speaking of The Stupid Party*, there's a poster circulating the intertubz that claims Valerie Jarrett is an Iranian who advises President Obama. Jarrett was born in Shiraz, Iran, to two American parents. The Jarretts left Iran when Valerie was 5 and moved to London, then eventually returned to the U.S.

I wonder if the idiots who claim she's "Iranian" understand that would make John McCain a Panamanian, since he was born in Panama to two American parents. Nah. I don't think The Stupids would grasp that.

*"We have to stop being the Stupid Party." --Bobby Jindal

06 October, 2015 05:53  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I've heard that about Jarrett. As for Jindal, of course he then became one of the leading supporters of teaching creationism in the schools. He's not the solution to the stupidity problem either. It's sad that even people who apparently aren't stupid, like Fiorina, have to pretend to be so in order to pander.

06 October, 2015 06:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're all pandering to the stupid. When W. Bush was running for congress his opponent used Bush's upbringing and time at Yale against him. Bush vowed that no one will ever be dumber than him again. George Wallace said that people cheered him on when he started talking about "those people." Bush and Wallace were both insanely intelligent policy experts. Jindal was a Rhodes Scholar. They had to win elections and did what they believed they had to do. It was one thing when white middle class bigots were the silent majority and you had to cater to win. The problem is that the stupid as of right now are hopelessly outnumbered and it's a presidential race.

It may be hard for some readers to believe, but the stupid is really that bad. Fox News is moderate to them. I've had the misfortune of conversing with those idiots and it forced me to stop seeing them as people.


06 October, 2015 10:56  
Blogger Jono said...

I doubt the base has a long enough attention span to get through this.

06 October, 2015 11:43  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

A lot of people in The Stupid Party think the guy who said this should be president:

“But, Dr. Carson, would you go?” host Brian Kilmeade [FAUX NOOZ] wondered. “If the people of the community say don’t go, would you still go if you were president on Friday?”

“Probably not,” Carson replied. “I mean, I would probably have so many things on my agenda that I would go to the next one.”

He won't be president, of course, but think about how much Stupid a person has to have bouncing around in his skull to say something as idiotic as that.

07 October, 2015 05:57  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...

I cannot help but wonder if there might be better ways to reach those lost in the wilderness of ignorance and prejudice. Calling them stupid and The Stupid Party will simply trigger their defense mechanisms and at that point they are not going to listen. So perhaps we're just talking to ourselves and each other.

A nation divided against itself will not stand. Somebody famous once said that, or something close. We are approaching that point once again.

07 October, 2015 14:39  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

vic78: Bush vowed that no one will ever be dumber than him again.

Ye cats! Finally a promise by a politician that was actually kept!

It may be hard for some readers to believe, but the stupid is really that bad. Fox News is moderate to them.

I read a lot of right-wing websites. I believe it.

Jono: Probably true, but they would get "Hey, she's a Muzzie-lover!" out of it, and that would be enough.

Shaw: It's hard to evaluate Carson's statement without knowing what the question referred to, but there's no shortage of emanations of Teh Stoopid from him.

Rational: Well, my blog isn't intended as an effort to "reach" the wingnuts, and I doubt any of them read it, at least not more than very occasionally. If I were trying to address them directly, I'd employ much different language, depending on what I was trying to accomplish.

However, it is simply an objective fact that rejection of evolution, anthropogenic global warming, and Keynesian economics is stupid, and the Republican party actually is the stupid party since, almost in toto, it does reject those things and in general embraces ignorance and self-delusion about many aspects of reality, including (as I suggest in this example) history. This being the case, there is nothing wrong, in the appropriate forum and circumstances, with saying so.

Every nation is divided against itself to some extent, and most of them manage to stand, however unsteadily. Given that one side of our political divide in the US has essentially gone insane, the alternative to division is surrender to the madness. I'll take division -- until we win.

07 October, 2015 17:00  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...

Assuming rational and reasonable people win. It may take armed rebellion as change often does.

You are right about not reaching across aisles and finding workable compromise. Nobody even makes an honest attempt these days.

Oh well, let the tensions build and the upheaval begin. As it surely will. The chips will fall as they may. With no guarantee which side will "win".

07 October, 2015 17:36  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RN: I have no idea what you're talking about. I certainly don't anticipate an "armed rebellion" or "upheaval" and the crazies are already in the process of being marginalized by normal demographic change, notably the decline of religion.

08 October, 2015 05:07  
Anonymous NickM said...

Er... Until the Als turned up I thought you meant the UK. Us Brits made the World. I grew up walking distance from George Stephenson's Cottage. I live just down the road from where Alan Turing killed himself. I recently saw the statues of Kelvin and Watt in Glasgow. I am of the nation of Shakespeare and Tolkien, of Lewis Carroll and, yes, of TS Eliot. My language is global. A few months back I was in the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge. I saw a first edition of Newton's Principia Mathematica. I have a Physics degree. This was emotional. That was Newton's own copy with his marginal notes for the second edition. Nobody from the Islamic World has done anything to compare since the 1100AD-ish century. Because Allah's hand cannot be chained. Islamic thinking allows Allah to have complete freedom. This means there is no order to the Universe.


10 October, 2015 10:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

And the reason they accomplished so much before the early 12th century was that their society wasn't dominated by religion the way it became later on. Ibn Warraq argues, and I agree, that the great Middle Eastern civilization of c. 700-1100 was more of a neo-Hellenistic revival under Islamic rule than anything else. It's still the Classical (Greco-Persian-Roman) civilization that is the real root of Western modernity.

Nevertheless, Fiorina's point is well taken -- during much of the period she cites, the Middle East was advancing and achieving, building on what it inherited from the Classical world, while Europe was essentially stagnant until the Renaissance.

10 October, 2015 10:39  

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