Progressive Writer Contends ‘Atheists Can’t Be Republicans’

GodLessAmerica
(motherjones.com)

Progressives like to portray themselves as champions of tolerance and diversity, and a few of them truly are.

But for most progressives, diversity and tolerance are only acceptable when they involve things like sexual behavior, gender identity or skin color. Their “I’m okay, you’re okay” philosophy does not extend to the realm of ideas and opinions; in those areas, leftists demand conformity.

Atheist writer CJ Werleman is a typical progressive, as the title of his just-published book, “Atheists Can’t Be Republicans,” makes clear.

The nub of Werleman’s argument goes something like this: Individuals become atheists because they refuse to believe in things that can’t be measured, tested, or proven. Therefore, since Republicans’ entire political platform is based on myths and debunked theories, rational-thinkers simply cannot belong to the Grand Old Party.

Werleman explains his, ahem, logic in a recent Alternet article:

Atheists can’t be Republicans because the economic and social policies of the Republican Party have been proven abjectly false and dangerous. Much in the same way religion is false and dangerous. In other words, atheists who cling onto modern U.S. conservative ideology are hanging onto ideas that have either been proven mythical at worse or remain unproven at best. If atheists applied the same litmus test to their political ideology as they do to theology, then clearly an atheist cannot be a Republican.

The Grand Old Party (GOP) is not only a theocratic sponsor, it’s a party that has been proven wrong on just about everything in the past three decades or more: from evolution to climate change, trickle-down economics, that the Iraqis would greet us as liberators, that the Bush tax cuts would lead to jobs. It didn’t. It added $3 trillion to the debt.

They were wrong when they said the stimulus would trigger inflation, that austerity stimulates an economy in recession and that universal healthcare is worse than slavery, and they continue to prescribe debunked policies. That is when they aren’t carrying out a reenactment of the American Civil War in the chambers of the U.S. Congress i.e. obstruction, nullification, and disruption.

(Obviously, Werleman likes to paint with a broad brush, and has little use for a serious analysis of the issues he lists in rapid-fire style.)
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Lynn Parramore/Alternet: Libertarianism Causes “Epic Ripoffs”

I did a search for "Lynn Parramore" and this is what came up. I report, you decide.

I did a search for “Lynn Parramore” and this is what came up: I report, you decide. I’m pretty sure I dated this chick for a while before she became a Women’s Studies major.

Lynn Parramore, writing at Alternet, concludes a rambling essay against libertarianism by saying it causes “Epic Ripoffs” because it causes inequality. This came as a surprise to absolutely no one, in that people are born with different skills and different traits. It’s the kind of inequality that libertarians are okay with, you know the kind that lets women earn 104 cents for every 100 cents a man makes.

But Parramore can’t stop herself, she writes with the fervency of a shrill government stooge ten minutes before a grant filing deadline: “In the healthcare industry, as well as a dizzying array of other areas, like housing markets, energy market, labor markets, financial services markets, and perhaps most frighteningly, capital markets in which money sloshes through a global system extracting wealth through out-of-control instruments like derivatives, markets fail spectacularly. Regulation is the only way to fix these glaring market failures. Just leaving everything to the market, as libertarians recommend, is often guaranteed to produce epic ripoffs.”

I’d be interested to hear where she thinks things were ever left “to the market.”

The problem with her article is that her level of stupid throughout is so compressed and well-packed, that literally every sentence might be the stupidest thing you’ve ever read. It’s a stunning display of economic and historical ignorance, which has already generated 889 comments, mostly by libertarian fanboys dropping h-bombs of facts on Parramore, but like the T-1000, she’s impervious to facts. In fact she just keeps repeating the same tired arguments to the extent where she should be called Parrotmore.

Most of her arguments mirror a personal argument I had in middle school with fellow 12 year olds about the nature of government. I figured a Ph.D in English and Cultural Theory would have reduced the quality of her argument down to elementary school, but Parramore surprised me by using a few obscure anecdotes. After all she talks about the railroads having a monopoly in the 19th century. As if libertarians have never discussed or thought about the issue, ever, ever.

Here’s the fundamental problem: the left is incapable of understanding or empathizing with their opponents. That and they clearly never read any of the material produced by the other side. Read “The Righteous Mind” by Jon Haidt to see this theory discussed in detail.

Parrotmore just keeps giving truly inane arguments about “libertarianism” as if it’s some monolithic belief structure. She reduces it to, “I hate poor people and taxes, so I’ll stop paying taxes to help poor people, and profit!” Here’s a few gems from Parrotmore:

“The truth is actually this: Many a rich person gets wealthy just by being born to wealthy parents.”
Demonstrably false. She has a cop out here by having written “many” and so, she implies a lot, but hey, maybe “many” is really contextually just two out of a million. And what’s “wealthy” after all? Is “middle class” being born to “wealthy” parents? Lesson to learn here: never trust the writings of an English major. But just for grins, let’s show that Parrotmore is false again.

“Bankers committed massive fraud on mortgage loans leading up to the financial crisis, and continue a crime spree which includes laundering money for terrorists and drug cartels, rate-rigging, manipulating the prices of commodities, taking bribes, engaging in insider trading, participating in ponzi schemes, cooking the books, and so on. Fraud has grown so pervasive in corporate America that legendary short seller Jim Chanos describes a culture in which executives think they have a fiduciary duty to cheat.”
Parramore has apparently seen Pacino in “Scarface” a few too many times.

“Beyond the blatant crimes, bankers are engaging far more in reckless speculation that destabilizes the economy than doing useful things like lending money to people who need it. Put simply, they make a great deal of money looting the economy through cheating taxpayers and screwing customers with fees and tricks. Result: Bankers get very rich, while the rest of us get poorer.”
I don’t think Lynn understands what banks do. At all. And to be sure, many big banks are horrible institutions, and most of those are ones who have a symbiotic relationship with the government. To say that libertarians are pro-big-bank is completely wrong. Banks are one of the most regulated industries of all times. Even during the supposed Obama economic recovery, there were recent years where not a single new bank opened. Is that possible if there’s low regulation and banksters are allowed to launder Tony Montana’s drug money for obscene profits all the time?

And hey, I could regurgitate her article all day long, but she’s just a ridiculously simplistic statist.

Here’s her basic argument: Libertarians are wrong because of 1) inequality, 2) public goods, 3) regulation. Yet no libertarian on the planet claims libertarianism is a perfect utopian heaven, all the problems of human nature will still remain. Inequality is measured by either results or opportunity, and to create equal results requires coercion and force, which they reject. Public goods can be funded by private sources, not just streetlights but sometimes even entire highways. She then talks about the need for regulation by talking about how unregulated the automotive industry was.

Argument run-down

What’s going on here is that progressives are scared of Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul. They see a devoted group of idealistic young followers and they can’t wait to crush that hope with cynicism. Libertarianism may have its legitimate critiques and complaints, but Parramore isn’t capable of even understanding them. So she doesn’t offer any subtlety or nuance in her article, she just gives these broad brush critiques of libertarianism to prevent closed-minded Alternet readers from even trying to engage the issues. She knows better, but she’s writing from fear and ignorance.

For many years libertarians liked to believe that they were immune to attacks from the left, and that it was only the establishment GOP that was so traditional and backwards that caused the media to hate them so. But the recent few years and the incessant irrational attacks on libertarianism should show that the left hates them just as much. If your ideas are a threat to the left’s power, you’re going to be attacked. It’s business and it’s personal. Thus for Parramore all libertarians are riding “theoretical unicorns” instead of just having a different view of state power.

You either believe in people, or you believe in planners. You either believe in spontaneous order, or in central planners to accomplish good things. You either believe in freedom, or you believe in coercive state power. Parramore believes in the latter and ought to try reading a real libertarian book or talking to a real live libertarian before just repeating the same tired arguments against libertarians in the future.

CJ Werleman/Alternet: Opposing Coercive Unionism = Tyranny

CJ Werleman at an Alternet editorial board meeting.

CJ Werleman at an Alternet editorial board meeting.

CJ Werleman sees Koch phantoms wherever he turns. If the weather today is bad, it’s the Koch brothers opposing climate change hype that caused it. If his stocks go down, it’s no doubt the Kochs preventing Obamanomics from creating untold wealth through regulation. Werleman has a fervent faith that Obama is Lord, and that the Kochs are the Devil in two persons.

Naturally in such a worldview, the Kochs control all politics. All political issues are really just about lining Koch pockets. Because when you become a billionaire, clearly, your only ambition is to then become a trillionaire? Over at Alternet, CJ Werleman makes the fantastic claim that, not only are the Kochs solely funding the right to kill unions, but to oppose coercive unionism is tyranny.

Here’s what Werleman starts with:

“…the right wing let the metaphorical cat out of the bag when it comes to their strategy of transforming America’s democracy for the many into a tyrannical plutocracy for the very few, revealing just how disingenuous the Republican Party is whenever it offers any lip service to dealing with income inequality.”

Werleman then approvingly quoted that paragon of reason Rachel Maddow as saying “This fight is about destroying the unions.”

So, the Kochs, who single-handedly bankrolls everything on the right to Werleman, only care about bankrupting unions. That’s the only issue folks.

Apparently all those energies spent discussion issues like energy, trade, war, gun rights, abortion, religion, the Constitution, election integrity, the environment, are all just convenient proxies for the real battle: so that the Kochs can finally get rid of those pesky unions!

Now I hate to impose logic on an article published at Alternet, but let’s give it a try. The Kochs are Billionaires from oil. Their operations are based in Wichita, Kansas. Kansas is already a Right to Work state. The Koch brothers spent an estimated $400 million in politics and political education and outreach. The Kochs are worth an estimated 50 and 30 billion each. Does it really make any logical sense that they would be taking all that action solely in order to destroy unions in order to line their own pockets?

First, they’re already fabulously rich. They could just as easily drink gold and snort platinum cocaine full-time for the rest of their lives if they wanted to, why would they care about some unions in states where they aren’t doing business? Second, they fund such a variety of efforts, that if they were solely against the unions, they would be wildly inefficient in such spending by not solely funding pro-worker groups. Third, his only evidence of this is the logic of Rachel Maddow. Let me repeat that so that the insanity sinks in: his only evidence for this is the logic of Rachel Maddow.

Werleman then explains that Kochs and their minions, i.e. us, are really tyrants, because we oppose coercive unionism. This is our strategy, in case you missed the memo, “transforming America’s democracy for the many into a tyrannical plutocracy for the very few.”

All that claptrap about freedom and liberty and low-taxes, yea, it was just to enrich the tyrannical plutocrat overlords we worship. Pro-life? You’re just empowering the tyrannical plutocrats. For a sensible border/immigration policy? Empowering the tyrannical plutocrats. Want to lower regulations to make it easy for new businesses to form? Empowering tyrannical plutocrats.

This is the logic of progressives: malign anything you mildly disagree with, using a non-thinking phrase, and repeat ad nauseum. Turn off any logic, reason, empathy or sympathy.

Here’s where Werleman, aka Weasel-man, shows his true colors: “Walker’s goal was to reduce public-sector unions to the same subjugated state as their counterparts in the private sector. Since signing the bill into law, union membership has fallen nearly 40 percent in his state.”

Yea Weasel-man, they reduced because people chose not to pay dues to a union they didn’t support. When state workers were no longer forced to join a union against their will, they chose not to. Because those former union members chose against Weaselman’s preferred unionist thugs, they’re tyrants, and empowering the plutocrats. It was evil in his mind that people were given a choice of whom to associate with in order to have a job. Werleman is a disgusting statist pig.