Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Racial composition does not imply a group's ideology

Listening to Keith Olbermann in the car this morning made me deeply annoyed. He ran one of those signature "special comments," this time on racism in the Tea Party. That's fine with me. I mean, when you have images like this

and this

Then yeah, I think it's not unreasonable to speculate that there is some latent racism going on in the Tea Party movement.

But he didn't stop there; he went on to say that the tea party protests are mostly composed exclusively of white guys. Then he said something to the effect that if they aren't racist, how come there aren't more black people?

And I say: MEH. It's not as easy as Keith imagines to get a diverse group to support an activist cause, and it's a terrible fallacy to conclude that the movement is racist because it doesn't attract more black people.

I've been through seven years of college with a computer science/engineering background, okay? There were not many women in the programs. Why? Beats me. I wish more women would be computer nerds. I have worked in many companies where there was a good mix of genders, but I've noticed that the women in the companies far more commonly fill non-techie roles: testers, administrators, office assistants, HR, some managers. Stuff like that.

This is not a sexist claim. It's basic statistical observation. It is not a statement of "ought," it is a statement of "is." It's also obviously not universal, as I knew several women who made up, I'm guessing, 5% of my Master's program; and I know plenty of female engineers, including Jen and Elze in the ACA. But still, as I look around my cubicle area at my job, almost everyone within view is male.

By Olbermann's logic, computer software development must be a fundamentally sexist undertaking. The entire practice must espouse some core values that hates and derides women.

It doesn't stop there. The Atheist Experience has a relatively good mix of men and women... by which I mean that among the hosts and cohosts are only twice as many men as women. There are also only twice as many heterosexuals as homosexuals, which is actually overrepresentative of gay people. We have no African-Americans (or "black people," if you're not keen on politically correct language, which I'm not). From my ten year memory of the ACA, I can think of two black women and no black men who were members. (Deepest apologies if you are somebody I left out.)

Edit: There are seven total hosts and cohosts, not six as I first thought, making the ratio of male to female 5:2, not 4:2. Same with sexual orientation.

From what I've heard, black atheists are really quite rare, and activist black atheists are rarer still. They're out there, of course, and Reginald Finley (who is the most famous one I know) has helpfully compiled a list of famous black atheists -- and I recognize almost none of them. (Sorry!) In the last few months I've heard the topic of come up at least twice on the show, prompting a string of black callers from around the country to offer their two cents on the nature of the problem. This puts us white hosts in the uncomfortable situation of having to speculate about what it is about either race or culture that makes it more difficult for black people to come out as nonbelievers.

Lest you think it's just our tiny minority group that shares this "racism," I'll point out that Yearly Kos, the convention for liberal activists sponsored by the liberal blog Daily Kos, has received similar pointless criticism that they are "diversity challenged." That because they can't attract more black members, there is some unspoken whites-only principle in the ideology of the group.

Which is stupid, and should be transparently stupid to someone like Keith Olbermann, who loves Daily Kos and has founder Markos Moulitsas as a regular guest on his show. And yet here he is committing this rotten fallacy on the tea party movement, which only serves to undermine the (IMHO) accurate message that many people in the movement are bigoted asshats.

If there's a lesson to draw here, it's that you can reach the right conclusion for very wrong reasons. Like a person who becomes an atheist because Zeitgeist convinced them of the truth of some very dubious claims about Christianity; once a person finds out that the underlying arguments are terrible, they're likely to dismiss the conclusion.


  1. "There are also only twice as many heterosexuals as homosexuals"

    Just because i'm curious, and "not that there's anything wrong with that", but who is the other homosexual on the team (other than Jen)?

    I've taken 50:50 and narrowed it down to three Jeff, Martin & Don. So I thought i'd go ahead and ask the audience.

  2. Oh, I just realized I miscounted -- there are seven hosts and cohosts, not six, which means the numbers for both women and men are 2:5, not 2:4.

    (The other homosexual is Don, and I'm pretty sure I'm not accidentally revealing any new information.)

  3. By the way, I get similarly annoyed by people claiming that there should be more women in British Parliament, or more asians.

    In my view there should be exactly the people there that deserve to be there, regardless of gender or race, or whether they have milk with their coffee. It should no more be an advantage to be a particular type of human being than it should be a disadvantage.

    "Positive" discrimination is still discrimination afterall.

  4. MORE importantly...did you see the bit about the tea bag signs in Captain America?? ;-) haha I love the expert dude he talked to. I agreed with him completely. The was also more talk of racism in that party.

    (You can watch it here:

    (PS Yikes! I sure HOPE you didn't accidentally reveal new info!!)

  5. Oh, I just realized I miscounted - there are seven hosts and cohosts, not six, which means the numbers for both women and men are 2:5, not 2:4

    I spotted that. Didn't want to want to make you feel bad though, what with maths being a big part of your job ;)

  6. (PS Yikes! I sure HOPE you didn't accidentally reveal new info!!)

    Ah well! Just in case he has, let me lighten the mood with this:

  7. Apart from Charlie Parker, I know none of these black atheists either, but then again I don't know many famous atheists and the ones I know better are dead (Sartre, Camus, etc.). But yes, Olbermann made a stupid mistake and being right on most things does not excuse being wrong on one thing. There are enough reasons to attack Teabaggers, there is no need to use intellectual dishonesty.

  8. Hey Russell,

    I liked this post, and I completely agree with it. The Left cannot allow itself to become like the right, where hyperbole and sensationalism rule. We have to be tight with the facts, and keep on message. Something the Obama administration hasn't done enough of. They have made generally good economic decisions, and some good scientific funding decisions, but they haven't explained it well enough.

    For example, last night I was listening to the "Quick Hitts" podcast from October 2008. Dave Hitt was complaining about the stimulus package, initially by the Bush administration, but of course the Obama administration has further pushed. However, the Obama administration seems to have lacked any sufficiently good way of framing it. It should be pointed out that the Republicans financial mismanagement was a big factor in this. However, despite that a good explanation of the "fix" is still required. One I came up with is this; imagine a large dam, with a reservoir behind it. This dam has been mismanaged for years, and it starting to leak. As the government, you have two choices, to pay a lot of money to repair it, if the water company can't, OR to allow it to fail, destroying the village in the valley below. This is the way I feel Obama should explain it to people - sure it will be expensive to fix, but not putting that money in is really not a viable option, because the consequences of failure would be so much worse.

    Okay, well that was one specific example, but keeping to the facts and using good, robust framing could really help the Dems out a lot.

  9. "There are seven hosts and cohosts, not six,"

    So how many hosts and cohosts can count to seven?

    Just kidding, couldn't resist.

  10. I wish he wouldn't say stupid things like this, because it takes away from when he gets it right. It's important, at least I think, that there be someone calling the Republicans on their ridiculous crap who isn't a comedian, but they tend to get labeled in a fit of equivocation with nuts like Glenn Beck.

    Then he says something stupid, making it harder to defend.

    And as Computer Science student, I'll tell you this anecdotally, in my lone second-year class, computer architecture and digital design, there are about 30 students. There is one female.

  11. Ummm, I became an atheist because of Zeitgeist. It was the impetus that made me reexamine my religion, and look at evolution without a strong bias against it. Whether the comparative mythology is true or not does not have an effect on my lack of belief system.

  12. Russell -- I think you're overreacting, and being unfair to KO. When you have a small sample size (say, 7 co-hosts), it's not surprising that you might have a lack of diversity.

    When there are hundreds of thousands of teabaggers, you're past the point where it's just coincidence that everybody's a white guy.

    I'm going with Olbermann on this one.

  13. "MORE importantly...did you see the bit about the tea bag signs in Captain America?? ;-)"

    Which one? Steve Rodgers or Bucky? Good lord imagine poor STeve running into a tea bagger...just coming back form the dead (not really) and all. That's...a lot to deal with.

  14. Olbermann's been kind of hit-or-miss for me, lately. I was hoping his discussion of the Teabaggers would focus more on the obvious racism displayed in signs and surveys, and less on a fallacious question about demographics. Last night was worse, as he talked about the terrible threats of nuclear power, bringing up the spectres of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl with a guest, both of whom were apparently totally ignorant of any science about either one or the current state of nuclear power technology. Blind fearmongering based on a misunderstanding of decades-old disasters that can't happen in modern reactors is not the way to energy independence and shouldn't be a cornerstone of liberal politics.

  15. @Andrew: It's not that there isn't a racist element or that the racist element isn't what is keeping black people from joining this movement. It's that the disproportionate number of white to black people is not a good reason to believe there is a racist element. Which is what Keith was implying.

  16. @Andrew - Russell provided a large-scale sample as well. Software development is male dominated. Seriously, it's something on the order of 10:1.

  17. Tom Foss

    Yes, I agree, regarding nuclear. It bugs the hell out of me when liberals overstate things (nuclear / food production / animals right / global warming). Don't get me wrong, there are legitimate concerns about all of these things, but we have to realise that nothing is perfect - we will always have to compromise some amount of safety for reality. If we want to combat global warming, nuclear is necessary. Even James Lovelock has said as much, and he hates things like nuclear. Still, we need to not be using fossil fuels for our electricity (happily I live in Japan, where a large proportion of our power is nuclear. Of course, all the rice produces lots of methane. Swings, roundabouts, anyone?). Sure, a nuke goes up and that's bad news for a few hundred thousand people. Storage facilities break? Could be bad. Remember, there is a fair amount of radiation in the background anyway. However, to do nothing about global warming could result in the deaths of tens or hundreds of millions. Nuclear is a good option. The only other viable option is reducing our standard of living - something which would certainly have to happen if resources are to be more uniformly distributed.

  18. Not to mention that the current third generation of nuke plants can't possibly melt down like the older ones and they're recursive enough that they can use their own waste materials for further fission until they get down to a handful of actinides (if I remember correctly) that have half lives of only a few hundred years, as opposed to the thousands of years it takes for wastes from older plants to bleed off their radioactivity.

    And, in the states at least, the only way to make the ubersafe and almost entirely waste-free fourth generation ever actually happen is to start building third gen plants and get the industry funded, moving, and profitable.

  19. While I am not convinced that the teabagger movement is racist, I certainly can see the members as such. That does not make it a racist movement. I f there is an all gay bowling league, that doesn't make bowling gay. I can completely understand people from minority groups not wanting to associate with the teabaggers.

    As for the Atheist split, I am not sure what causes that. I am part of a <a href='">group of Atheists</a> in a city with a sizable black population, and we are almost completely comprised of whites, though our gender make-up is about 50/50.

    Perhaps open Atheism is the luxury of middle class whites? If you are a minority in this country you have enough problems to deal with, no sense in drawing fire for your lack of religion. God is not great, but his fan club is huge.

  20. *face palm on the nuclear thing* Good lord, Liberals...why is this hard to understand. Yes despite the high half life of its waste, it still produces pound for pound less waste than combustion fuel. It also has other benefits
    a) it produces more energy per unit of fuel used
    b) To my knowledge we're not at 'peak' of it's fuel sources
    c) its waste is containable, unlike combustion which gets released as gaseous pollution. We can in theory contain and isolate contaminates from nukeys.
    d) Even with Cherynoble and the like, nuclear is STILL safer. The only difference is that those killed by nukes went all up in solid doses compared to the death/illness by inches that combustion pollution causes. It's like airplanes, by the numbers they're damn safer than's just that when things go wrong it makes a big Michael Bay display.

    seriously why are liberals so goddamn stupid about this? Especially environmentalists. Nuclear IS an environmental friendly option.

    I blame Captain Planet. YOU'LL PAY FOR THIS CAPTAIN PLANET!

  21. Kazim I'm sure you're aware that Monday's "Special Comment" wasn't the only time KO has touched on the subject of racism @ the Tea Parties.

    Although that's the only real point he made the other night, I don't think it's accurate to state that KO's argument is simply "The Tea Parties are disproportionally white, and are, therefore, racist" and nothing more.

    Have you heard of Tim Wise? The article "Racism, Right-Wing Rage and the Politics of White Nostalgia" I link below is a several months old, but I think clarifies the issue quite a bit:

    P.S., I'm not sure if my link takes you straight to the article, but it's there and should be easy to find.

  22. So... how come there aren't more black people in the tea party groups? Why aren't there more women in CS? Why aren't there more black people who espouse atheism? I think those questions are worth addressing. Immediately jumping to racism on the part of the parties involved is definitely a stretch, but I don't think it hurts to consider those types of factors.

    I've never watched Olbermann, so I think I'm missing a few things. ^_^

    Just because observation shows that a particular proportion of different groups exist in a given area doesn't mean that there isn't sexism or racism at play somewhere. It can certainly be true that everyone you work with is male, that the observation is not sexist and a fact (although I'm not quite sure how it's statistical), and that you and they are not sexist. It can also be true that sexism occurs elsewhere so that those particular results could still be based on sexism.

    If you're saying that Olbermann is making a faulty post hoc/third cause argument about a complex subject that probably involves a significant number of factors, including cultural and social dimensions, then I agree with that (based on the information here).

    I think that the argument that sexism in CS means that "the entire practice must espouse some core values that hates and derides women" is a straw man, though. I don't believe that sexism or accusations of sexism are necessarily that blatant. There very well may be sexist aspects to the lack of females in CS and those aspects would probably be very hard to find and very hard to address (and probably occur elsewhere). What I'm not clear on is whether you're saying that the claim is the type of argument that Olbermann is making (particularly the sexism=blatant discrimination part) or if you're saying that. ^_^

    I can also say that the group he questions certainly has racist elements- even from the pictures that you displayed (which I would categorize as blatant rather than latent :P)- and that those racist elements probably have something to do with the lack of black people associating with the tea party.

    A-Astrologist, I think the problem is that both of those statements from your first comment could be correct. There probably should be more Asians or women in British Parliament, if all things were equal. There should also be exactly the people that deserve to be there. The problem is that one might expect those two things to be the same. The complicated bit is that we don't know why they're not, and people don't have good ways of addressing those issues.

    I think the ACA has done a pretty good job in addressing some of these issues with regards to atheism, when it's come up.

  23. One thing I love about Russell is his exceptional commitment to intellectual integrity. Pointing out this sort of things is hard for some people. Often when we agree with somebody we tend no to criticize his arguments as it could weaken our position. Is hard for me, for example, to refute stupid atheist arguments. I try to do it anyway.

  24. Kyle,

    Obviously I listen to Keith regularly, and no I wasn't saying that this was his only argument. In fact, I heard all kinds of info about the actual evidence for the tea partiers being racist FROM either Keith or Rachel. Nevertheless, quoting Guillaume for truth: "Being right on most things does not excuse being wrong on one thing."

  25. Every time the right-wing media did a story about an anti-war protest during the Bush administration, there were pictures of vacuous kids holding up "Bush is Hitler" signs and generally making the entire movement look immature and wacko.

    Now, in the stories about the teabaggers, you see quite a bit of craziness here as well. And, living in a red state, I have been exposed to many sane tea baggers.

    My question is, has there been any real evidence that the teabaggers are more likely to be racist, or to cling to batshit crazy ideas?

    I'm not defending them, but I honestly have not seen any evidence for anything more than the "f--- you! It's every man for his self" mentality.

  26. I'm about as far to "the left" as it's possible to be, and generally, I love Keith. He's third only to Stewart and Colbert at throwing right-wing hypocrites' (redundant) own words back in their faces. But there's no denying that Keith is weirdly hyper-sensitive about racial stuff. I remember the uproar about that political cartoon that, I'm sorry, I just don't think was racially-motivated. I think the cartoonist was mocking the stimulus bill as being unintelligent as though simply produced by a chimp banging a keyboard, and failed to make the extra connections that Olbermann and Jesse Jackson and all the other talking heads were shrilling about and insisting that he MUST have known. Hanlon's Razor, guys.

    Like you say, I think there are perfectly good reasons to conclude that the tea party movement is xenophobic in general, and largely racist as a subset of that, but the composition of the movement is not necessarily the best of it.

    Still, "taxpayer = niggar" can't be helping to attract non-whites, can it?

  27. "I think the problem is that both of those statements from your first comment could be correct. There probably should be more Asians or women in British Parliament, if all things were equal."

    a)All things aren't equal. Both Males and Females tend to be more likely to pursue some careers than others. Maybe the same can be said for different ethnicities.

    b)To honestly suggest that there "probably should" be more Asians or women in British Parliament, you need have a decent idea of how many women or Asians wish to become MPs, and you also need to be able to measure to some degree their suitability for the role. Until you can do that reliably, you cannot present any logical argument which starts with "there are only so many x in parliament" and concludes with "therefore x are being discriminated against".

    "There should also be exactly the people that deserve to be there. The problem is that one might expect those two things to be the same."

    Only if you were to look at things simplistically. You might also expect 1000 coin tosses to come up with exactly 500 heads. But this will rarely be so.

    "The complicated bit is that we don't know why they're not, and people don't have good ways of addressing those issues."

    Indeed. Which is why positive discrimination is such a bad thing. After all, it is quite possible that even though the numbers are seemingly low for Asians and women, that Caucasian men are still being discriminated against in the guise of political correctness, and the numbers for these in Parliament should be even higher.

  28. Oooh. It looks like I've been outed.

    I haven't been open with that fact (or a couple of others about me) on the show because I think they're more of a distraction than a help to the topic of atheism. I'd rather people focus on what I'm saying than who I am or my other attributes.

    BTW, I'm far from closeted in my real life. I think that's why Russell was comfortable dropping the name. I was running a gay and lesbian student group at my university over 20 years ago--back when doing such a thing wasn't so easy. Read my testimonial on the ACA web site for some insights in to how being gay led be to be an atheist.

  29. @ Thomas

    WEll they had a racist talk along side Sarah Palin and openly use racist buzz/code words in his speech. Seriously...

    Oh and their connection to the "Birthers"

    Yes...there's some race issues there. Not all, some are just morons who follow Glen Beck's crocodile tears.

  30. @Ing "*face palm on the nuclear thing* Good lord, Liberals...why is this hard to understand. "

    And to this I respond with; why aren't there any nuclear power supporters at the liberal rallies?

  31. Kazim: "and I'm pretty sure I'm not accidentally revealing any new information"

    Don has already pre-empted me, but I was going to say - didn't Matt 'out' him by mentioning this in the pre-show, over UStream, just moments before that show was broadcast?

    I remember him mentioning to Don that some people has been wondering who the other gay person was.

  32. I don't watch Keith Olbermann, but I found your article interesting. I'm black, an atheist, and a woman, BTW. Those blatantly racist tea party signs you showed made me lol, though. I guess there aren't too many outspoken black atheists because in some ways, we already get enough shit just for being black. When you add atheism to the mix, it gets worse for some of us.

  33. "And to this I respond with; why aren't there any nuclear power supporters at the liberal rallies?"

    Have we entered a tautology? I'm into ecological causes and I am in favor of the high tech route. The problem i've seen is most of the lefties into the 'cause' want to use herbs as medicine and tree moss as fuel.

  34. Personally I think the dynamics of race is focused too much on black and white. While I understand where Russel is coming from you would think that millions of people from an ideological perspective would have at least SOME diversity. To me it's not even just a white/black thing. You don't see any Latinos, Asians, Indians, Middle Easterners, Native Americans, immigrants, etc. It's pretty much exclusively white. While I can understand people not wanting to label the movement as racist, I wish people weren't so quick to write it off as some type of ambiguous coincidence that can't be examined through a racial lens.

    To me it seems like the elephant in the room people want to ignore or write off. KO probably could have expressed his thoughts in a more rational manner but I really don't think his reasoning was that far off the mark. It kind of reminds me back in 2008 when you saw the Democratic National Convention and it was just swarming with diversity. Then you saw the Republican National Convention and trying to pick out a minority was like trying to find Waldo. And pretty much NO ONE wanted to talk about it. I think I heard Chris Matthews mention it once briefly but that was it.

    These days racism is so subtle and covert that it seems people are more willing to give the benefit of the doubt more often than not when it comes to accusations of racism. Despite many of the blatant inequalities that occur in this country along racial lines. Although I suppose historically speaking that's always been the case. I just find it disheartening and sometimes extremely irritating how when an accusation of racism is made, even in some of the most blatant occurrences, there isn't nearly as much vitriol directed at the repeat defenders and apologists of such behavior as their is directed at the people who are willing to call it out. And that goes for racists and anti-racists as well.

    It's a subject that makes people uncomfortable to begin with, and even the most well intentioned individuals I believe are more inclined to try to ignore/downplay/write off such occurrences than to actually address them, eloquently or not so eloquently.

    So while I can understand why some people might disagree with KO's position, I still respect the man for taking on the subject no matter how ham fisted he was when doing it. Because actually talking about it is more than most people in this country are willing to do IMO.


    More evidence of tea bagger crazy.

    step 1) say something stupid
    step 2) Lie about saying it
    step 3) Insist 'it's not what you think'
    step 4) profit

  36. @ Jaesel

    I disagree. People like Limbaugh and Beck are all too ready to label people as racist. They're ignorant of what the word means and are actively trying to dumb it down to be meaningless, but gosh darn it they're calling people on it!

    On the teabagger question I thought I'd just throw it in that my school is the proud alma matta of one of the Acorn Undercover Agents...specifically one of the ones that got caught trying to bug a federal building. He was the founder of the school's local conservative rag. In it they frequently accused people of being racist (mainly any black person who spoke out against racial problems...cause you know talking about it is racist to white people), and published an election day issue after Obama's election showing the 4 horsemen with the title "IS THE END NEAR!?". I don't know about you but I'm very proud to learn how that guy turned out.

    That's sort of the problem I have with conservationism (and the same problem I have with Christianity)...those really into it on the far right are what i'd call evil or in some cases psychotically evil (No offense George). It's those who aren't very right that I think have decent points and are reasonable.

    The far left elements can be equally polarizing and stupid but due to their sort of dovish and accepting nature the most many of them due is annoy me with woo.

  37. @Ing

    Anyone can label someone a racist. Just like anyone can label someone a rapist. Just because the accusation in some cases are false or misleading, doesn't mean all accusations should be written off.

    There is a plethora of evidence to back up what KO said during his special comment. The same cannot be said for Beck's comments about Obama having a "deep-seeded hatred of white people" or Limbaugh claiming that a fight over a seat on a school bus was motivated by racism.

    Also you aren't going to ever see those two calling out or acknowledging racism directed at minorities. They're simply playing up to their audience. The same argument can be made of KO I imagine, but like I said there is MUCH more evidence to back up his claim which is more than you can say for RL or GB.

  38. @Ing.

    I do not know who the racist is. Who are you referring to? I do believe that the conservative movement is socially darwinistic, and that their policies are wrong, but I think the biggest hate they have is toward liberals. Had Barack Obama been a Republican, I feel that the vast majority of these people would be at home talking about how great a president he is and patting themselves on the back for being "the party of Lincoln".

    Part of my disagreement, here, is that much of the argument I have seen has centered around either "they favor policies that are not in the best interests of African-Americans, therefore, they are racist", or "they're racist because they hate a black president who is a former law-school professor from a big city, is very liberal and who has spent time in a foreign country". (Can you be sure which part of that sentence they hate?)

    You could very well be right, but I haven't seen it, yet. I have seen the media showing only the dumbest and most extreme members of this group (which is how they report on every group).

  39. @ Jasel

    Yup, you're right. My point though was that while honest people have a sort of resistance to calling subtle racism or endemic racism when they see it (or in the case of the tea baggers, Whisky Tango Foxtrot out in the open racism bubbling to the surface) there is a concentrated movement to make the word meaningless.

  40. Also the "anyone can call someone a rapist" reminded me.

    When IS Glen Beck going to deny the rumors that he killed and raped a girl in 1990?

  41. On the topic of 'liberal' show head desk moments.


    Oh joy...

  42. Black atheist, here! *raises ebony fist*

    We're rare and usually closeted, since black American culture is typically centered around the church. Those of us who are "church homeless" are viewed as confused, and I've even been accused of hating black people and betraying my race. True story.

    I'm also a *real* libertarian. This tea party nonsense is a turnoff for me, because it seems less about small government, liberty, and the Constitution and more about getting together to bash Obama under the guise of rightful dissent. This nationwide tea tantrum is about a decade overdue.

    I'm all about taking the piss out of Washington, but this ain't the way.

  43. Very nice. I would add that even though you find racists in the teaparty movement, it is wrong headed to think that just because there are racists that it is a racist movement. You find racists in the Democrat party, as well as the Republican party. Does that make either party racist? What makes a movement racist is the goals of the movement.

    You're going to find assholes in any group of people you find. The presence of assholes doesn't make everyone an asshole.

  44. @ Godlessons, yeah but when they're head speakers....

    @Hawkmom (the Slayer): I'm sort of in the boat where I'd have politic/ideals that might be 'libertarian' but I am not touch the label due to certain people taking a crap all over it.

    On the taking piss out of the government, part of the problem is due to how our system grew. WE have what I can only call 'evolutionary baggage' from our past as a series of vaguely associated colonies. The little quirks that grew from this severely hold back our efficiency. But ALL systems have that, in polysci class they referred to it as 'path dependency'. Reform that moves forward rather than trying to undo the past is needed over voting in new blokes.

  45. I can agree with you on some of the 9-11 claims and conspiracies regarding Zeitgeist parts 2, 3 & addendum but, I cannot agree with hardly anything you've said about ZG part 1. I've done my own research long before the Zeitgeist movie was ever heard of and your claims are wrong - embarrassingly wrong and you're embarrassing all atheists by repeating the nonsense I've seen in your youtube video #634. The comments there by 'Hercules2345' proved that.

    I notice that most here at the atheist experience consistently commit the fallacy of 'guilt by association' by conflating part 1/Acharya S with everything else. Acharya S had nothing to do with parts 2 or 3. She has consistently substantiated part 1 when it has come from her own work and I've yet to see anyone here go to her website or videos or forum or read any of her books or even make any attempt to contact her at all. So, the anti-Acharya S position here is about as intellectually dishonest as it gets. As an atheist, I find your website & videos regarding ZG1 & Acharya S a monumental disappointment that isn't any better than fundy Xians. Take that as constructive criticism.

    If you have any interest in being honest invite her on your show via the phone or something but, it would be wise if you knew her work first or you will look like a dumb-ass. Or do a show on her mythicist position.

    Read Acharya's Frequently Asked Questions at her Freethought Nation forum.

    Read this FAQ & you'll see why atheists should not be SMEARING her: "Do atheists disagree with Acharya's basic premise?"

    Search for the "Zeitgeist Part 1 & the Supportive Evidence" thread and the post "The New ZEITGEIST Part 1 Sourcebook (2010)"



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