Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Friday, March 9th, 2012.

Carnival of Stupid

Obama Administration

Krugman’s column today is on the Right’s hostility to education. Do also read “Mitt: Pay for Your Own Damn College” by Jonathan Chait.

Whenever I hear some wingnut go off on education, I think of Mao Zedong. Chairman Mao seems to have hated education also. He crushed the Chinese education system and sent intellectuals and teachers to do manual labor on farms. As a result, 20 years after the Cultural Revolution China had a massive illiteracy problem. China re-built and expanded its education system after Mao died, because the less radical leaders who succeeded Mao understood a nation of illiterate peasants cannot be a great power.

So why don’t our Republicans know that?

Dictators can’t stand an independent education system. If you look at dictatorial regimes over the past century or so, you find that the despots either destroyed education or took over the school system to use for indoctrination and propaganda (as in Germany during the Third Reich).

I postulate that hostility toward education is a hallmark of political radicalism and totalitarianism, left or right. Knowledge is power, etc.

And then there’s Stupid. In this video poor Soledad O’Brien confronts a concentration of highly distilled Stupid. Indeed, the Breitbartachik she must interview, Joel Pollack, is so Stupid he is to intelligence what a black hole is to matter, and any intelligence in his vicinity is sucked in and destroyed.

You’ve probably heard about the “hidden” Barack Obama/Derrick Bell video the Breitbart minions rolled out recently, the one that’s been online at PBS since 2008. Buzzfeed released a version of the video that cuts out Obama and Bell shaking hands and embracing at the end. When O’Brien pressed Pollack to explain why leaving out the embrace is somehow significant, he said, “Additionally, if the President’s embrace of Bell was unimportant, why did Buzzfeed choose not to pay the hundred bucks to license those seconds? If it wasn’t a big deal, why cut it?”

Simon Maloy: “‘If it wasn’t a big deal, why cut it?’ There should be a word for someone who fails to recognize their own accidental logic. Maybe the Germans have one.”

Also — as I understand it, Critical Race Theory is a means of analyzing how racist attitudes are embedded in the legal system, not a call for blacks to go out and overthrow white people. But that doesn’t stop the Breitbarters into being scandalized by the fact that Barack Obama, in 1994, assigned Derrick Bell’s Race, Racism, and American Law as required reading for a course he was teaching at the University of Chicago called “Current Issues in Racism and the Law.”

This inspired Jesse Taylor to write the wingnut definition of “radicalism”: Radicalism (n.): remembering that all of American history through 1964 happened.

See also David Graham, “’s Massive Barack Obama-Derrick Bell Video Fail” and Ta-Nehisi Coates, “There Is No Whitey Tape.”

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